CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Guard Kemba Walker had 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Charlotte Bobcats won their fourth straight game with a 92-89 victory over the previously red-hot Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
The Bobcats went on a 15-1 run early in the fourth quarter to pull out to a 13-point lead, but then had to come from behind in the final minute after Memphis stormed back with a 16-2 run of their own.
Forward Josh McRoberts’ two free throws with 38.1 seconds left gave the Bobcats the lead for good at 88-87. Then Walker tacked on four free throws in the final 24.4 seconds and the Bobcats withstood two missed 3-pointers from Memphis guard Mike Conley in the final five seconds.
The win completed a perfect 4-0 week for the Bobcats coming off the All-Star break, and moved the Bobcats to 27-30. The Grizzlies had a four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 31-24. They had won 16 of their previous 20.
Walker’s performance was crucial on a night when center Al Jefferson — who scored 30 or more in seven of his previous 11 games — was held to six on 2 of 13 shooting.
McRoberts was the only other Bobcat in double figures with 13.
Conley led Memphis with 16 points and center Marc Gasol had 15. Forward Zach Randolph finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, guard Mike Miller scored 11, and guard Courtney Lee scored 10.
The Bobcats led 28-21 after one quarter. Memphis outscored the Bobcats 27-14 in the second quarter to take a 48-42 halftime lead. But the Bobcats scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to retake the lead, and then the lead went back and forth until early in the fourth.
There were 17 lead changes and 10 ties in the game.
NOTES: The NBA formally approved the Bobcats’ acquisition of G Gary Neal and G Luke Ridnour from Milwaukee, but neither was in uniform Saturday night. They will make their debuts with the Bobcats next Friday at San Antonio. … Bobcats coach Steve Clifford was initially leery of the upcoming five-day break in the schedule, but now he loves it because it will give Neal and Ridnhour several practices to learn the system. … Both teams were playing on the second night of back-to-backs. The Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 102-96, in Memphis on Friday and the Bobcats beat New Orleans, 90-87. … The Grizzlies’ 12-3 record in January was the best record in the league. Coming into Saturday night, they had won 14 of 18 since C Marc Gasol returned from an MCL sprain. … The Bobcats have not had C Brendan Haywood (stress fracture left foot) this season, and have lost F Jeffery Taylor (ruptured right Achilles) for the rest of the season. Clifford said Haywood will see the doctor again in two weeks, but there is still no time frame for his return. … Bobcats F Chris Douglas-Roberts was sporting six stitches under his eye after being elbowed in the Bobcats’ win over New Orleans. … The Grizzlies were without G Quincy Pondexter (stress fracture, right foot), but got G Tony Allen back on Friday against the Clippers. … The Grizzlies will return home to face the Lakers on Wednesday.
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