Adam Morrison Impressive in Pro Debut

Wednesday, October 11th 2006, 8:50 am
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Dwight Howard had 18 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday night to lead the Orlando Magic to a 107-90 preseason victory over Charlotte, offsetting an impressive pro debut by Adam Morrison of the Bobcats.

Morrison, who led the nation in scoring last season at Gonzaga with a 28.1 average and was the third overall pick in the NBA draft, had a game-high 19 points.

The 6-foot-8 Morrison gave the Bobcats instant offense coming off the bench. He scored 10 points in his first five minutes, including a fall-away 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the first quarter.

Morrison hit seven of his first 10 shots from the field, including two long-range bombs, and finished 7-of-14.

``Adam knows how to score and he knows how to play the game at the offensive end of the floor,'' Orlando coach Brian Hill said. ``He's going to be handful as he moves along in his career. He's a very good offensive player.''

Morrison said he had some butterflies when he checked in at the scorer's table with about four minutes left in the first quarter.

``I've played in some pretty hostile environments and with some raucous crowds before,'' he said. ``I was nervous, obviously being my first NBA game, but once I knew that first shot was going down, I felt fine after that. I felt pretty comfortable.''

Howard, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 draft, was nearly unstoppable inside and dominated Charlotte's Emeka Okafor, who was drafted one spot behind him.

After being sidelined most of last season with an ankle injury, Okafor struggled guarding Howard, drawing three quick fouls in the opening four minutes. Okafor played just 10 minutes before fouling out without scoring.

Grant Hill added 16 points for Orlando and Keith Bogans had 14 points against his former team.

Raymond Felton had 16 points for the Bobcats, while Gerald Wallace had 14 and Sean May added 13 points and seven rebounds.

``Adam is a scorer and if you give him open shots he's going to do that every game,'' Felton said. ``He's a great kid and I love his game. I'm looking forward to playing with him.''

Morrison admitted he needs to work on his defense but knows the Bobcats chose him for his ability to score. He also said the speed of the game doesn't seem to be a problem at the pro level, but he's still getting used to the talent.

``I think the biggest thing is everybody is good,'' Morrison said. ``In college, not everybody is good.

``Every guy out there has the ability to score or to do something good. That's the biggest adjustment for me.''

Bobcats guard Brevin Knight left the game early in the first quarter after spraining his right ankle sprain and did not return. The injury was not believed to be serious.