Score: 101-90 Charlotte
Charlotte Bobcats record: 30-31
Offensive Efficiency: 106.3
Defensive Efficiency: 96.3
Meritorious Player: Boris Diaw (did I give it away with the title?) – 14 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, and just 1 turnover. Boris just destroyed Golden State with his interior passing, creating 3 layups/dunks for his teammates against the Warriors zone. A couple of more posts moves mixed in would have been…you know what, I am not even going to say that. Diaw played a tremendous game tonight and helped the Bobcats pull this one out.
Pull this one out? The Bobcats won by 11, you might say. Charlotte did win by 11 – but they trailed until late in the 3rd – never by much, but they did not run away with the victory. You may not believe the cause of consternation: Turnovers. Shocking, I know, but the Bobcats had 20 of them, including some passes to customers that just never had a chance of getting to a person who actually got paid to wear a jersey. Stephen Jackson led the charge with 5 turnovers, and D.J. Augustin and Gerald Wallace followed him with 3 apiece. I chose the word charge intentionally: The Bobcats were called for 4 offensive fouls, 2 of which Gerald accumulated in the first quarter, ending his 1st half action (his 2nd half ended early as well, for different reasons). Some parts aggression, some parts careless, the Bobcats helped the Warriors stick around, but when it got down to it, they were not going to lose.
Good example: With under 4 left, and the Bobcats ahead by 9, Chris Hunter takes advantage of a Bobcats double team on a pick and roll and gets open underneath – until Gerald Wallace pinned his dunk attempt to the backboard. Hunter did gather the rebound and drew a foul call on his follow attempt on Gerald (dubious call, replay looked clean) – but it was a “ball don't lie” moment – Hunter misses both free throws and the Bobcats rebound the miss. One of their 60 rebounds on the night – to 36 for the Warriors. Aside from Boris' big night on the glass, Gerald got his double-double with 10 rebounds to accompany his 18 second half points (18 total) (oh, and 5 blocks in his 31 minutes) and 4 other Bobcats had at least 5: Raymond Felton – 7, Stephen Jackson – 6, Theo Ratliff and Tyrus Thomas – 5. The Bobcats had the size advantage for once and they took advantage.
Final notes: Like I mentioned previously, Gerald's night ended early. He threw an elbow at one of the Warriors (Tolliver maybe – tough to tell and they were not showing replays in the Arena). The refs determined it was above the shoulders and sent Crash packing. It was unusual to see Gerald lose his cool, so I am going to look for a replay to see what may have caused him to get so upset. Considering it came on the night the Bobcats gave away Gerald Wallace arm sleeves to fans, it was not a great night to have it happen (not that there ever is, but poor timing). The other thing: Davidson fans and their favorite son, Stephen Curry. There were a lot of them and they were very loud in supporting him. But, they seemed more interested in partying in the stands than actually watching the game – it generally took the announcer mentioning Curry's name to draw a cheer, rather than them reacting to plays as they happened. It added a bit more energy than normal to the audience – but it was a kind of strange vibe to have a group that was more or less indifferent to the game and only there to cheer for the actions of a single player. Oh, wait, Kobe was in town last night as well and Dwayne Wade is next – that is going to become the norm.