CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Gerald Wallace led a furious comeback in the fourth quarter and took charge in overtime, finishing with 36 points and giving the Charlotte Bobcats a 107-103 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.

Charlotte snapped a four-game losing streak by rallying from a 13-point deficit with under 6 minutes left in regulation behind a series of spectacular plays from Wallace.

Wallace had two three-point plays late in regulation. He then hit two 3-pointers in OT and four straight free throws in the final 22 seconds.

Wallace scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He also had eight rebounds and four steals.

Jason Richardson added 28 points for the Bobcats, who sent the slumping Pacers to their fourth straight loss.

It was a familiar story for Indiana, which lost for the sixth time after leading by double digits. Jermaine O’Neal had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, which committed 23 turnovers and watched Mike Dunleavy (18 points) and Troy Murphy (17) foul out late in regulation.

Indiana, playing again without point guard Jamaal Tinsley (left hamstring), got a combined 29 points from fill-ins Andre Owens and Marquis Daniels. But Indiana disintegrated late in regulation behind a barrage of turnovers, fouls and missed shots.

Emeka Okafor’s tip-in with 13 seconds left tied it, and the Pacers missed a chance to take the lead when O’Neal missed a 17-footer with 6 seconds left.

Wallace missed a chance to win it when he missed a contested runner before the buzzer.

O’Neal played poorly for more than two quarters before getting motivated by two fans. Sitting with four points on 2-of-9 shooting, two fans in the second row started taunting him.

O’Neal hit two jumpers as the Pacers built a 66-56 lead. During a break before a free throw, O’Neal went over to the fans and reached out to shake their hands.

“I appreciate you guys coming to the game,” O’Neal said, before breaking into laughter.

The Pacers appeared in control when O’Neal’s jumper with 7:12 left put Indiana ahead 87-74. But Indiana managed only three field goals for the rest of regulation, and Dunleavy and Murphy fouled out within 10 seconds of each other with just over 3 minutes left.

Charlotte, the league’s worst free throw shooting team coming into the game, hit 11 straight until Richardson missed his second attempt to leave the Bobcats ahead 103-100 with 32 seconds left in OT.

Notes: Pacers C David Harrison missed his sixth straight game with a sore back. … Bobcats rookie coach Sam Vincent picked up his first technical foul for arguing an offensive call on Wallace late in the third quarter. … Vincent was in damage control before the game when asked about predicting a playoff berth before the season. “The playoff talk came before we lost about 40 points of production,” Vincent said, referring to season-ending injuries to Sean May and Adam Morrison.

AP-ES-12-31-07 1715EST


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