After 13-game skid, Bobcats have won two in a row

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Just when things couldn't look any worse for the Charlotte Bobcats, they put together two of the best performances in team history.

Raymond Felton scored 24 points and Melvin Ely added 23, both career highs, to lead the suddenly streaking Bobcats to a 119-106 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Monday night. It gave them a two-game winning streak, and they led wire-to-wire in both victories for the first time in franchise history.

"We've been working so hard, playing so hard and fighting so hard," Felton said. "It's time for us to get rewarded a little bit."

The Bobcats snapped their record 13-game losing streak Friday night with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, then followed it with this decisive win over the Sonics. Charlotte led from the opening tip, built a second-half lead of 25 points, and won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 27-28.

"That was one of the concerns, that the Los Angeles situation and all the hype, the concern was we wouldn't move to the next level, the next game and pay Seattle the respect they deserve," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "I thought the transition to the next game was good."

Jumaine Jones added 23 points for the Bobcats. Bernard Robinson had 16.

Ray Allen scored 31 to lead the Sonics, who have lost three straight and four of five. They have also struggled on the road, losing eight of their last 10.

"It was ugly," Sonics coach Bob Hill said. "It was just ugly."

Part of Seattle's problem was its defense -- which ranks last in the NBA in allowing 106.6 points per game. The Bobcats became the seventh straight team to score 100 points against the Sonics.

The shoddy effort made it impossible for Seattle to rally.

Charlotte scored 56 points in the paint, shot 56 percent, had 12 steals and blocked six shots.

Seattle got 22 points from Rashard Lewis and Luke Ridnour scored 18. But the Sonics played without forward Vladimir Radmanovic, who sat out with a sore hip, and replacement Nick Collison contributed only eight points. Center Robert Swift was even less productive -- going scoreless in 10 minutes of play.

Afterward, Allen complained about a lack of emotion among his teammates.

"It seems like kind of at times we are going through the motions," he said.

When asked if he would discuss the problems with the Sonics, he wasn't sure.

"I'll see how the next few games go before I decide if its time to sit down and talk it out," he said.

The Bobcats took a 67-54 lead into the break behind a strong effort from the starters. Ely shot 10-of-12 in the first half for 21 points and Felton was 7-for-9 for 16 points.

"We had a scouting report on Melvin Ely and what he does," Allen said, "and I think we did a poor job of executing our game plan."

The Sonics tried to trim into Charlotte's lead early in the third quarter, but the Bobcats answered everything that came their way.

Allen made a 22-footer to cut Charlotte's lead to 70-56, only to see Jones toss in a 3-pointer at the other end. Then, after an uneven jump-ball between the 5-foot-10 Brevin Knight and Seattle's 6-foot-8 Reggie Evans, Robinson stole the loose ball and ran off
for a fast-break dunk and a 75-56 lead.

Lewis missed at the other end for Seattle, setting up a soft 16-footer for Jake Voskuhl that pushed Charlotte's lead to 77-56 with 8:17 to play.

Seattle cut it to 15 twice in the third quarter, only to see the Bobcats run it back up to 97-72 after four free throws by Felton to end the quarter.

Game notes
The Bobcats hope guard Keith Bogans is able to begin practicing Tuesday and possibly return to the lineup this week. Bogans has missed eight games with a sprained knee. ... Hill took issue with the Seahawk's loss in Sunday's Super Bowl. "I'm not a connoisseur of football by any means, but I thought that officiating was horrible," he said. ... Felton had a humorous moment midway through the fourth quarter when he ran after a ball -- right into one of owner Bob Johnson's courtside guests. The collision knocked the woman's drink all over the front of Felton.