CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Stephen Jackson scored 27 points and the Charlotte Bobcats stayed hot under new coach Paul Silas with a 96-82 victory over the listless Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night in a game played in a nearly empty arena because of a snowstorm.
A crowd of about 1,000 fans braved the treacherous roads that shut down much of the city to watch the Bobcats move to 5-2 since Larry Brown was fired. D.J. Augustin added 18 points and nine assists and Matt Carroll scored 12 points for Charlotte, which was never threatened.
Zach Randolph had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost their second straight thanks to terrible shooting. Memphis missed 33 of its first 42 shots in falling behind by 16 points in the second quarter.
Rudy Gay was held to 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting, Mike Conley's 13 points came on 6-of-17 shooting and O.J. Mayo missed seven of eight shots for the Grizzlies, who beat the Bobcats by 33 points last month.
But not even an odd atmosphere of nearly no fans could stop the Bobcats from continuing their resurgence under Silas, who took over a 9-19 team on Dec. 22.
The Bobcats overcame 18 turnovers with 51 percent shooting from the field in their third straight win despite again playing without starters Gerald Wallace (ankle) and Nazr Mohammed (knee).
Players arrived without much difficulty amid the rare intense snowstorm that dumped about six inches of snow in downtown Charlotte before turning to sleet and freezing rain near tipoff. The Bobcats decided to put a tarp on the upper deck and invite fans to sit near the court.
Not many did.
While owner Michael Jordan was in his customary courtside seat next to the Bobcats bench, there were large swaths of empty seats. When the music wasn't playing during play, you could hear players talking on the court, individual conversations in the stands and nearly every heckler.
So many were scared away by the weather only four of the more than a dozen dancers showed up to perform during timeouts. The team announced people who didn't show would be able to exchange unused tickets for select future games.
Memphis seemed to be more sluggish than Charlotte's overwhelmed snow removal crews in the first half.
Starters Gay, Conley and Tony Allen combined for an 0-of-15 start from the field as Charlotte built a 38-22 second-quarter lead.
Randolph, who earlier in the day won the Western Conference player of the week award for the first time in his 10-year career, got Memphis within 44-31 at halftime on a late offensive rebound and hoop.
But he got little help in the second half in a frustrating night for coach Lionel Hollins, whose numerous timeouts couldn't jump-start his sluggish team. The Grizzlies missed any weather-related travel issues by arriving early Sunday morning following a loss in Oklahoma City.
The Grizzlies shot 39 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers in their fourth straight loss in Charlotte.
Notes: The official attendance, which includes tickets distributed, was 10,188. ... Silas was hopeful the weather wouldn't prevent them from practicing Tuesday so Wallace could test out his ankle before perhaps returning Wednesday vs. Chicago. ... Hollins, who played briefly under Silas with the San Diego Clippers in 1982-83, was asked about Silas' claim that he was tyrant in his first coaching job. "I wasn't listening to anything he had to say anyway," Hollins said, smiling. "I was the point guard. I did what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it." ... Hollins expressed frustration in rookie Xavier Henry's slow recovery from a sore right knee. "They'll learn real quick you have to play with some pain in this league," he said.