Score: 104-99 New Orleans Hornets
Charlotte Bobcats record: 24-25
Offensive Efficiency: 111.2
Defensive Efficiency: 116.9
Meritorious Player: Nazr Mohammed, as he played Emeka Okafor to a virtual standstill. Nazr finished with 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting, 5 rebounds, and a block in his 25 minutes. Emeka, for comparison had 16 on 10 attempts, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 32 minutes.
The Bobcats came out for the second half like they had enjoyed a nice turkey dinner at half time: Sluggish and lazy. It led to a 36-21 advantage in the quarter for the Hornets, turning a 10 points Bobcats lead into the final 5 point margin the Bobcats would enjoy at the conclusion of the contest. Those 36 third quarter points came on just 24 possessions for the Hornets, an efficiency of 150 – and while it felt like it was fueled by a rash of Bobcats turnovers, the Cats only had 4 in the quarter, right around their pace for the game, finishing with 11 as a team.
Oh, and since I mentioned turnovers, might as well mention the other negative in that pair: Free throws. The Bobcats managed just 18 of 27 from the stripe for the game, negating an advantage of 6 additional free throw attempts on the Hornets by making 1 fewer. The primary culprit – Ronald Murray, who managed to go 0-5, including 4 straight misses in about 4 minutes time late in the fourth. One other free throw note: Boris Diaw went to the line 6 times on the night, making all 6. Also, all 6 were in the first half, when Diaw was aggressive in going to the rim. Boris looked like one of the primary victims of tryptophan in the second half, as he passed up open looks and dribbled into the defense without looking at the rim.
The Bobcats fall a game back under .500, so that is the bad news. The good news? They are off until Tuesday, giving them some time to recuperate from the road trip…and Tyson Chandler is hoping to play Tuesday night as well.