Score: 91-88 Charlotte
Charlotte Bobcats record: 14-18
Offensive Efficiency: 113.8
Defensive Efficiency: 108.6
Meritorious Players: DeSagana Diop – 8 points, 6 rebounds, and a block for the backup big man in 27+ minutes of work. Gana is earning minutes when Tyson returns with his play of late – tonight he led the Bobcats in +/- at +11.
My wife was asking me before the weekend began about the Bobcats upcoming schedule and I told her that they played both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, at Miami and then at Cleveland. A good weekend would be winning one game but the Bobcats could likely go 0 for 2 and it would not be surprising, I said. Needless to say, this weekend was an outstanding success for the Bobcats – 2 road wins, including one over a division foe, and both were against an opponent who start one of the league's best in Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. The Bobcats still sit a few games south of .500, but if the season ended right now, the Bobcats would be in the playoffs – that would be an even bigger win for this franchise.
Back to tonight's game: Gana and the bench did it again – D.J. Augustin, Ronald Murray, and Gana combined for 24 points on just 14 field goal attempts, providing the Cats just enough offensive spark to fend off the Cavs. 3 of the 5 starters played well: Raymond Felton had 17 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals, while shooting 8 of 13 from the floor. Stephen Jackson had a solid offensive showing as well, with 22 on 17, plus 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block. Jax and Gerald Wallace's performances were both somewhat offset by turnovers as Jax had 4 and Crash 5, while the rest of the team combined for just 2. You know, that will work for this group – because Gerald finished with 19 points on 10 field goal attempts and 8 free throws (no misses from the stripe for him) plus 12 rebounds.
Like the Miami game, the Bobcats were (relatively) strong with the ball, with just 11 turnovers, and good from the stripe; tonight, the Bobcats went 16 of 19 for 84%. Fewer easy baskets for the opponent and taking advantage of the easy points for yourself – it helps.