Score: 103-96 Bobcats
Charlotte Bobcats record: 24-22
Offensive Efficiency: 109.6
Defensive Efficiency: 100.0
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace continues his strong road trip with 38 points on just 18 field goal attempts, making 12 and going 12 of 15 from the charity stripe. Crash had another double-double on the night, finishing with 11 rebounds. In the other positives, he had a trio of 2s – 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The 2 blocks were probably most key, as they came late in the 4th quarter, as the Kings were threatening.
This time it was not Tyreke Evans who carried the Sacramento Kings back into the game – it was the Charlotte Bobcats. The Cats missed 13 straight shots from the floor between the 11 minute mark and the 3 minute mark of the 4th quarter – and scored just 5 points in the 4th up unto the 3 minute mark. It was just ugly basketball, with turnovers and forced jumpers everywhere. Eventually, Larry Brown was reduced to guiding Raymond Felton with this advice as he advanced the ball up the court: “Just get a good shot.”
To be fair to the Bobcats, they had expended a great deal of energy in opening the massive lead they attempted to give away – after leading by just 2 at the half, the lead ballooned to 23 going into the fourth. The Bobcats appeared to have forgotten the run Kings made in Charlotte and played sloppy, lazy basketball until the Kings had narrowed it to a 6-point game with less than 2 minutes to play. While the Cats did not put a strangle hold on the game at that point, they did enough to win – making enough free throws and forcing enough tough shots to walk out the victors. But it was not easy.
Well, it was not easy for the guys who played in the 4th anyway – Nazr Mohammed was not one of them, and the game was easy for him tonight: 17 points on 8 of 10 from the floor and 10 rebounds in his 25 minutes of action. While Nazr was on the floor, the Bobcats were +11, and had efficiencies of 118.8 and 95.8. Due to the lineups the Kings employed in the final quarter, Larry Brown kept Nazr beside him on the bench – and the easy points that Nazr had been tossing in from in and around the paint dried up. I know Jason Thompson may have been a tough cover for Nazr – but Nazr would have been a tough cover for Jason at the other end as well.
Two of the guys who really did not have an easy go of it tonight? Raymond Felton and Stephen Jackson, who were both doing the things that their critics like to point out. Ray was driving to the rim too aggressively and finding himself without an outlet or a makeable shot, and finished with just 6 points on 3 of 14 shooting plus 3 turnovers to his 3 assists. The play by play only credits Spencer Hawes with blocks on Raymond (2 of the them), but I know Jason Thompson helped Raymond miss a couple more underneath. As for Stephen Jackson – too many contested jumpers, as he finished 5 of 19 from the floor. Jax did take on the distributor role, and ended the game with 8 dimes, so it was not all for naught. Oh, and a similar point for Raymond: He helped hold Tyreke Evans to just 4 points and 7 assists.
It may not have been as satisfying a win as it looked to be for a few minutes, but it counts the same.