CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kareem Rush scored a career-high 35 points and rookie Raymond Felton added 18 points and 10 assists in his first career start to help the Charlotte Bobcats snap a five-game losing streak with a 122-90 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

It was the both the most points scored and the largest margin of victory for the second-year Bobcats.

Felton, starting in place of the injured Brevin Knight, ignited a 10-0 run late in the third quarter after Indiana had cut a 14-point deficit to 71-65. Felton hit two 3-pointers and fed fellow rookie Sean May with a no-look pass leading to a layup in the spurt. Felton hit another 3 in the closing seconds of the period to give the Bobcats an 89-72 lead.

His steal and layup put Charlotte ahead 93-72 early in the fourth quarter.

Emeka Okafor added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who shot 53 percent. Charlotte dominated despite being without leading scorer Gerald Wallace (wrist) and Knight, who was a late scratch with tendinitis his left knee.

Ron Artest scored 27 points and Stephen Jackson added 18 for the Pacers, who committed 26 turnovers in their second straight loss.

Playing their first game since blowing a 14-point lead in a loss to Milwaukee on Saturday, the Pacers hit their first eight shots in racing to a 19-9 lead.

But Charlotte, playing for the second straight night, woke up in the second quarter, outscoring the Pacers 34-16 to take the lead. Rush, who was shooting 34 percent from the field coming in, made all four shots in the quarter, including two 3-pointers. His two free throws gave Charlotte a 56-46 halftime lead.

Rush, who made 6-of-7 3-pointers, surpassed his previous career-high of 30 points set two seasons ago when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Pacers, who missed 10 free throws in the final minutes in the loss to the Bucks, were just 20-of-36 from the line.

Notes: Wallace was scheduled to be examined by the team doctor Wednesday night, but coach Bernie Bickerstaff gave no timetable for his return. … Charlotte forward Melvin Ely missed his third straight game with a shin injury. … The Pacers were playing their first game in Charlotte’s new arena, but coach Rick Carlisle said players don’t have as big of an adjustment as they did when he was a player in the 1980s. “Most of these new arenas have very good color schemes so you don’t have depth perception problems,” Carlisle said.

AP-ES-11-16-05 2221EST


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