Score: 121-110 Bobcats
Charlotte Bobcats record: 23-22
Offensive Efficiency: 121.0
Defensive Efficiency: 110.0
Meritorious Players: Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson – both players finished with 30 points in the high-scoring, fast-paced affair. Gerald Wallace also contributed 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block, while Stephen Jackson managed 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Both scored efficiently, as Crash went 8 of 16 from the floor and 13 of 16 from the free throw line, and Jax was 12 of 22 and 3 of 4.
I was kind of nervous about last night's game – it was a game the Bobcats should win, but the extenuating circumstances made things a bit more complicated. How would Stephen Jackson react to the harsh treatment he would receive from his former fans? Positively, by attacking smartly offensively and playing sound defense? Or by forcing shots and driving recklessly, creating turnovers? Good news for Charlotte: Captain Jack controlled his emotions and the basketball game in the second half, with hot-shooting from the perimeter and some nice post work against the under-sized Warriors back-court. His defensive work on Monta Ellis was also good, as it took Ellis 23 shots to get 22 points (to be fair, Monta helped defend himself somewhat with some questionable shots).
On the whole, it was not a great defensive performance by the Bobcats, as Stephen Curry and Corey Maggette both had very strong showings: Curry finished with 22 points on 15 attempts, plus 9 assists to a single turnover. Maggette did what he does so well: He went to the line frequently in the first half and finished 7 of 9 from the stripe on his way to 25 points on just 16 field goal attempts. The only other Warrior to crack double figures in scoring was Anthony Tolliver, who went 5 of 7 for his 13 points.
The most unusual thing about the defensive effort for the Bobcats was the lack of turnovers forced: In a 100 possession game, they managed to create just 9 turnovers by the Warriors. Offensively, the Bobcats were right around their average with 16. With Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis both able to act as point guards, the Bobcats usual traps and ball pressure just was not able to force its normal miscues.
The player who most enjoyed the Warriors small-backcourt? Ronald Murray, who bulled his way to 10 free throw attempts in just over 25 minutes of action. Despite struggling from the floor at 2 of 6 shooting, he made 8 of those freebies to finish with 12 points. 3 more Bobcats finished in double figures: Raymond Felton with 14 on 10 attempts, D.J. Augustin with 14 on 7 attempts (3 of 5 from deep), and Boris Diaw with 12 on 12 attempts, who went just 3 of 8 from inside the arc but 2 of 4 from beyond.
A few more numbers: 5 Bobcats had at least 3 assists as the team finished with 25 on the game, led by D.J. and Raymond at 6 a piece. The Bobcats also dominated the glass with a 48 to 32 advantage, including a 12 to 8 advantage on the offensive end. In addition to Gerald's strong showing, Nazr Mohammed grabbed 10 in just over 16 minutes, and then Boris was the next leader at 6.
A good win for the Bobcats, moving them to 2-1 on the road trip. They follow up in Sacramento tonight, and the concern now is the 40+ minutes logged by both Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson. A .500 road trip is within reach – should be an interesting one following up on the tough game played in Charlotte so recently (hopefully, slowing down Tyreke Evans has garnered some discussion).