Bobcats closing in on first playoff berth
WASHINGTON — No one passes out trophies for winning 36 games in an NBA season, even if it is a franchise record, and there's definitely not much pride in beating the Washington Wizards these days, especially if the game goes to overtime.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a more significant goal, a playoff berth for the first time in the team's six-year history. To do that, they need to beat teams like the Wizards, and last night's 95-86 effort in overtime was just enough to advance another step in the right direction.
"Those are always the teams that always give us problems," said Gerald Wallace, who had 17 points, 19 rebounds and got two Wizards to foul out in overtime. "The teams that really aren't fighting for anything usually give us a better fight than the teams that are."
The win broke a two-game losing streak and bettered by one the high-water mark for franchise victories mark set last season.
PACERS 98, PISTONS 83
Danny Granger scored 32 points and visiting Indiana snapped a nine-game road losing streak by beating Detroit to sweep their four-game season series for the first time. Detroit was officially eliminated from the playoff race.
KNICKS 109, NUGGETS 104
Danilo Gallinari scored 17 of his 28 points during a spirited duel with Carmelo Anthony in the third quarter and Al Harrington added 23 points as host New York held off Denver, whose magic number for clinching a postseason spot remained at three.
MAVERICKS 106, CLIPPERS 96
Jason Kidd celebrated his 37th birthday by scoring a season-high 26 points to lead host Dallas, which lost Dirk Nowitzki after he was ejected with 9:16 left in the third quarter for complaining about a foul call.
IN THE COURTS
Arenas could face jail time: Prosecutors are portraying Gilbert Arenas as a thuggish intimidator who tried to pressure his teammate into a cover-up, as they argue for a three-month jail sentence for the NBA star on a weapons charge.
Arenas' lawyer says his client is "a peaceful man" who played a misguided prank and has already been severely punished for bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room. He says the more fitting punishment is probation and community service.
Both sides staked out their positions yesterday in court filings, ahead of Friday's sentencing in D.C. Superior Court in Washington.