Bobcats complete the worst season in NBA history

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Bobcats complete the worst season in NBA history

From Comcast SportsNet
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The worst season in NBA history is over for the Charlotte Bobcats. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks are looking ahead to the playoffs. The Bobcats couldn't even beat a Knicks team resting most of its starters, finishing with the lowest winning percentage in league history after a 104-84 loss on Thursday night. J.R. Smith scored 22 points for the Knicks, who pulled away in the second half to clinch the Eastern Conference's No. 7 seed and a first-round playoff matchup against No. 2 Miami beginning Saturday. "I couldn't be happier," said Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson, now 18-6 since taking over for Mike D'Antoni. "It was a great regular season and now it's playoff basketball time. They will be ready." Gerald Henderson had 21 points for the Bobcats, whose 23rd consecutive loss left them with a winning percentage of .106 (7-59) in the lockout-shortened season. The record was set 39 years ago, when the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers finished 9-73 (.110) in a full regular season. "Going 7-59 like we did is not what we planned on doing," Henderson said. "This doesn't sit very well with me. These last 10 games, we've really tried to get after it, compete and not get that record. It just didn't happen for us. We just didn't have enough. We couldn't come up with the plays. "When you look back at it and see we lost 59 games, you always think, We could've won one more.'" Kemba Walker had 13 points, D.J. Augustin 12 and D.J. White added 11 for Charlotte, which now faces an offseason of uncertainty. "I have to commend the guys," said Paul Silas, whose future as the Bobcats' coach is in doubt. "They gave me everything they had and I can't fault them one bit for what happened. If they hadn't played hard for me and their attitudes hadn't been right then that's different, but they were positive and did everything that they needed to do." The Knicks held out starters Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis, while Amare Stoudemire had 21 points over two quarters. That put the pressure on the Knicks' reserves to make up the difference, and they didn't disappoint. Josh Harrellson added 18 points, Jerome Jordan 13 and Iman Shumpert 12 for New York. Mike Bibby also had 12 assists. "I pretty much have a set rotation," Woodson said. "But if Josh Harrellson has to step in and play, or Jerome Jordan has to play a minute or two here and there, I'll feel good that they are ready to play." Still, with owner Michael Jordan watching from his private box, the Bobcats played nearly even with the Knicks in the first half, leading twice and only trailing 46-44 at halftime. "I thought we had a shot, I really did," Silas said. "I thought we gave it our all in the first half." Charlotte's biggest lead came in the closing minutes of the first quarter, with Bismack Biyombo's dunk with 5:05 remaining putting the Bobcats up 14-11. But the Knicks closed the period with a 12-6 run to go up 23-20. Charlotte would lead once more in the second quarter, with DeSagana Diop's layup with 9:28 left capping a five-point run to put the Bobcats up 25-23. However, the Knicks responded with six straight points, going ahead 29-25 on Smith's dunk with 8:14 left. Charlotte managed to tie the score three times in the final minutes of the second quarter, the last at 41-all with 1:56 left on Henderson's layup. But Smith hit a 3-pointer 17 seconds later to put the Knicks ahead, and Jordan followed with a jumper to give New York a two-point halftime edge. Stoudemire asserted himself in the third quarter, scoring 11 points in the period as the Knicks pushed their lead into double digits. "I feel as good as new," said Stoudemire, who missed 19 games this season, most due to back problems. "It was a matter of staying sharp on the basketball court and keeping a good rhythm and helping my team to victory." New York would take its biggest lead late in the fourth quarter, with Jordan's fast-break dunk with 4:38 remaining putting the Knicks up 99-76.

No. 16 Virginia, bench players destroy Boston College

No. 16 Virginia, bench players destroy Boston College

BOSTON — Virginia coach Tony Bennett talked about having a 10-man group.

It only seemed like they were all on the court at the same time.

Playing only 25 minutes apiece, Devon Hall scored 13 points and Isaiah Wilkins had 11 points and nine rebounds to help No. 16 Virginia beat Boston College 71-54 on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers' bench pitched in with 33 points.

"We're really deep. Ten guys," Hall said. "You play as hard as possible for every possession you're in because you've got guys coming in who can do the job."

Darius Thompson scored 10 points off the bench, reserve Kyle Guy added eight more and Ty Jerome had five points and five assists. Three of the top five Cavaliers in minutes played and two of the top five in plus-minus were reserves as Virginia (14-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat BC for the fourth straight time.

"They gave us a nice lift," Bennett said. "Those are times when our 10-man group helped us."

Connor Tava scored 12 points with a season-high 11 rebounds and Jordan Chatman had 16 points for the Eagles (9-10, 2-4).

Virginia scored the first six points of the game and then, with Bennett subbing out the starters liberally, scored 15 straight points later in the first half to turn an 8-8 tie into a double-digit lead it never relinquished.

The Cavaliers added a 9-2 run at the end of the first half and, after going without a basket for the first 5 minutes of the second, rattled off 14 of 16 points to clinch it.

"That's the one thing that bothered me," BC coach Jim Christian said. "I didn't think that we came out to play Virginia, a ranked team, with the energy and emotion that you need to play them."

MORE NCAA: Why Maryland hoops isn't getting the respect it deserves

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Otto Porter wasn't focus of Grizzlies' scouting report and they paid for it

Otto Porter wasn't focus of Grizzlies' scouting report and they paid for it

The two Wizards players who will routinely get the most clean looks, because of how defenses are consumed with John Wall and Bradley Beal, are Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Both made the Memphis Grizzlies pay a heavy price for their coverages Wednesday in a 104-101 win at Verizon Center, the 13th in a row at home for the Wizards. 

Porter tied Wall for a team-high 25 points, but he also knocked down a career-high six three-pointers. The two biggest came in succession midway through the fourth quarter for a 95-83 lead. Though the Grizzlies would make a run to cut the deficit to two, the Wizards would hold on after leading by as many as 19 points. 

"He is what the NBA has become. He is a Swiss army knife. He can play multiple positions," Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said of Porter, who had been silent after scoring 17 in the first half. "The more he makes his threes, the deadlier he becomes but he does so much other stuff for them."

Beal was held in check by Tony Allen and company as they sent multiple players at him to keep the lethal shooting guard off the three-point line. But Beal still had his chances after Allen fouled out with 6;16 left. He shot 1-for-7 on threes. Porter was 6-for-8.

Wall assisted Porter on five of the long balls. And when the Grizzlies made it uncomfortable again, Wall took advantage of being switched onto by Marc Gasol by getting layups. 

"Every night he comes in and does everything he's supposed to do," Wall said of Porter, who will be a restricted free agent after completing the fourth and final year of his rookie scale contract. "Rebounding, cutting to the basket, being in the right place at the right time, knocking down shots and even when he's not knocking them down he still believes in himself. We believe in him. We just try to put him in situations where he can excel."

Morris had his second consecutive double-double, a first for him in Washington since being acquired in a trade in Feburary 2015, with 17 points and 12 rebounds. JaMychal Green and Chandler Parsons couldn't handle him without help. And when Gasol was crossmatched on Morris, he faced him up and used his quicker first step to get the shots he wanted.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Wizards' win over tough Grizzlies team]

Morris wasn't as effective in the second half as he seemed to rush his shots rather than kicking the ball out and resetting to take more advantage of the defense. But in combination with Porter, he contributed to a 66-point first half. 

All season, most teams have gambled off Porter and he has cashed in. When he hits the market, that'll be more literal in the summer.

"You have to pick your poison on the pick-and-roll," Gasol said. "When the initial action is not played correctly, and they get to the paint either with a drive or a pass, somebody has to help and you have to pick whether to come off Bradley Beal or to come off Porter. So you pick the one guy, and he got hot on threes and got going."

Based on their expereince Oct. 30, Porter was the right guy. When the Wizards lost 102-93 in overtime in Memphis, Porter was 0-for-5 from three-point range. Allen was out injured so this was the first time he's seen this version of the small forward.

"That made them a lot dangerous. I didn't even know he was on the scouting report today. I didn't hear two words about him today in the shootaround," Allen said. "It was just a lot about Beal and Wall. Beal and Wall. We got to pay better attention to our opponents and have a little better focus coming into games. ... When the others, guys like him, Morris, be highlights of the day, there is going to be pressure on your defense."

Beal was held to 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting but Wall still was able to get his with 25 points, 13 assists and two steals. Porter made up the difference.

"The way he was shooting, he should have shot 10 more," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "The way their defense was collapsing on John, he made the right reads."

[RELATED: 5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Grizzlies]