Diaw, Bobcats bounce back, beat Knicks 118-110
NEW YORK — Boris Diaw rebounded from a dreadful game a night earlier with a season-high 27 points, and the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a four-game losing streak with a 118-110 victory Wednesday over the New York Knicks.
Gerald Henderson added 24 for the Bobcats, who capped a three-game road trip by winning for the first time since their opener. Reserve Byron Mullens scored 16 and D.J. Augustin finished with 14 points and 10 assists. Charlotte shot 55 percent from the field.
The Bobcats ruined the returns of Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, who helped get the Knicks' offense back on track but saw that effort wasted when they simply couldn't guard Charlotte.
Stoudemire had 25 points and 12 rebounds after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. Shumpert scored 18 points off the bench after beating a two-to-four week timetable after spraining a right knee ligament in the Christmas opener.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 32, but 22 came in the fourth quarter when all he could do was make the score more respectable.
Diaw was in quick foul trouble and was scoreless in 18 minutes of Charlotte's 115-101 loss in Cleveland on Tuesday. Coach Paul Silas said before the game that Diaw "didn't do well last night," but quickly added the Frenchman has frequently played well against the Knicks and expected him to do it again.
Sure enough, Diaw kept finding ways to beat whichever member of the Knicks' much-hyped frontcourt guarded him and fell four points shy of his career high.
The Knicks blew another game they were expected to win following their loss to Toronto on Monday, and fans are showing signs of souring on a team with lofty expectations. Only Shumpert seemed safe from the boos, and even coach Mike D'Antoni had a rare show of anger, swinging his arm in frustration after calling timeout following a basket by Diaw in the final minutes — as Shumpert limped off the floor with an apparent leg injury.
Shumpert sparked the Knicks on both ends, and Knicks fans booed when D'Antoni replaced him with Toney Douglas early in the fourth quarter. Kemba Walker soon followed with five straight as Charlotte took a 95-80 lead, and it grew to 100-84 on a 3-pointer by Diaw with 7:47 remaining.
Walker had seven points in his first game in his hometown since leading Connecticut to last season's Big East championship.
Walker counted off some 15 games he had played at the Garden dating to high school, but even he needed directions to his locker following renovations at the arena. He bought only two tickets, but expected and got cheers in his first game here since beginning the Huskies' improbable run to a national championship by winning five games in five days here.
"It means a lot," he said of playing at the Garden. "Being that I'm from New York, just the things that I've accomplished in this building, of course last season from the Big East tournament, it was a huge tournament run for me and my teammates, so it's exciting. It's an electrifying building."
He'll be back soon, as the Bobcats return Monday night.
Shumpert, wearing a black brace over his knee, checked in late in the first quarter and had five quick points. But the Bobcats scored the final four points of the period for a 30-26 lead, then carried that momentum right through the second.
Charlotte ran off nine straight points, with Mullens jumping right over Tyson Chandler to put back one miss, to extend their lead to 54-40 as the Knicks began to hear boos. New York cut it to 62-52 at halftime, but the Bobcats came out of the locker room with the first four of the second half to push the lead back to 14.
Diaw had totaled just five points in the previous two games. ... D'Antoni said Jared Jeffries (sore right calf) could return next week. The Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas (sprained left ankle) could be back later this week. ... Commissioner David Stern was at the game.