Bobcats boost playoffs hopes


CHARLOTTE, March 10 – Stephen Jackson scored 17 points and the Charlotte Bobcats rallied in the final minutes to beat Miami 83-78 on Tuesday, boosting their chances of reaching the NBA playoffs.Raymond Felton added 15 points and 11 assists for the Bobcats, who improved to 31-31 and matched Miami (32-32) for the last Eastern Conference playoff berths, one-half game ahead of ninth-place Chicago.

Charlotte, never with so many wins so late in a season in their six-year history, improved to 3-0 against the Heat this season and will own a tie-breaker edge against them should they be deadlocked in the playoff chase.

The Bobcats, who have yet to reach the NBA playoffs, rallied from nine points down with nine minutes remaining, spoiling Dwyane Wade’s 27-point performance for Miami, which saw a three-game win streak halted.

Charlotte led 80-78 when Wade had a chance to shoot from beyond the free throw line. He passed off to Udonis Haslem, who missed from the baseline, setting up a final free throw by Felton.

Miami had a final chance to force overtime but Wade’s 3-point attempt from the left corner clanged off the rim.