SEATTLE -- Raymond Felton is finishing off his third season with the Charlotte Bobcats and for the third year he believes his team gets no respect.
"No question. We get written off every year," said Felton, whose critical baskets in the final minute Friday lifted the Bobcats to a 96-93 victory over the Seattle Supersonics. "That's what people have been saying ever since I've been a Bobcat.
"But we keep playing together, keep getting better, it's going to pay off in the long run."
Felton hit a 20-footer with 49.8 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 92-91 lead. On the Sonics' next possession, Earl Watson turned the ball over to foil Seattle's chance to respond.
Felton was then fouled with 9.6 seconds left and he hit both shots. Kevin Durant's attempted 3-pointer with five seconds left bounced off the rim.
Jason Richardson finished with two free throws with five seconds remaining to seal the win. Luke Ridnour's layin at the buzzer provided the final margin.
Richardson finished with 27 points, Felton had 23 and Emeka Okafor had 19.
Durant, who had scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games, lead the Sonics with 18 points. Earl Watson had 16.
One reason why the Bobcats had been written off this season is key injuries to Adam Morrison and Sean May. But Felton said despite all their adversity he remains hopeful.
"We're still trying (for the playoffs). That's still our goal," said Felton, whose team is four games out of the final playoff spot with nine games left. "It's possible some other teams lose and we slip in there. We are in the East."
It was the second straight win for the Bobcats, who surprised the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, 108-95.
The Sonics (17-56), with the worst record in the Western Conference, have lost 13 of their last 15. The team may have only five more home games here in franchise history in Seattle. The team's new ownership, under Clay Bennett, is building up for a move to Oklahoma City, perhaps by next season.
The Bobcats, leading by just two at the half, had an 8-point lead, 64-57, midway through the third quarter. But the Sonics closed out the last 6½minutes by scoring 19 of the final 27 points for a 76-72 lead at the buzzer. Watson had 10 points in the quarter.
The Bobcats attacked the Sonics from long range to open the final period, with successive 3-pointers by Earl Boykins, Gerald Wallace and Richardson for a 82-78 lead at the 9:16 mark.
Donyell Marshall stroked a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc with 3:08 left to give the Sonics lead at 87-86.
The Bobcats then went up 90-87 before Watson and Durant hit baskets to gives their final lead, 91-90.
"We were fortunate that we were able to get to the rim and Raymond Felton, he made some big shots down the stretch. He's continuing to grow, game by game," said Bobcat coach Sam Vincent.
Richardson, traded to Charlotte from Golden State last year, made six 3-pointers for the sixth time this season. He entered the game with a career-high 204 3-pointers, 11 more than the current Sonics' roster combined.
"The hardest thing in basketball is the transition threes. He (Richardson) brought that 'gunslinger' mentality to Charlotte from Golden State," Watson said. "It puts so much pressure on the defense because it spreads guys out."
Charlotte broke out in the first quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Richardson and Felton for a 20-10 advantage. That was part of a 17-6 run as Richardson scored 11 points in the run.
The Bobcats built a 38-27 lead by the end of the quarter. The 38 points matched their season high for a quarter this season.
Midway through the second quarter, the Sonics staged a comeback. They put together a 14-0 run to tie it at 46-all with 4:10 left. Jeff Green scored six points in the run.
The Bobcats managed a 55-53 lead by intermission.
The Sonics announced that forward Chris Wilcox will miss the rest of the season, needing at least six weeks to heal a dislocated finger. ... Richardson was averaging 25.6 points per game over his last 14 games.