Bobcats vs Raptors – 03/20/09 – Boxscore
Score: 102-89 Bobcats
Bobcats Record: 31-38 (1 game back of 8th)
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace, again. 30 points on just 13 attempts, 10 of 12 on free throws. 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and just 2 turnovers.
It was the Gerald Wallace show again – with a bit of clinic by Boris Diaw on post scoring thrown in for good measure. Crash notes first: 13 points for Gerald in the third quarter when the Bobcats put the game away. A highlight-reel windmill dunk on a fast break. And Gerald got hip checked by Bargnani on a fast break and took exception to the foul, but it did not escalate and no technicals were called. It was a frustration foul by Andrea, as the Raptors were down big in 4th by then – but as someone who has seen Gerald take plenty of nasty falls, I did not like seeing that kind of reckless play. The good news: Gerald got right up from it and knocked down the free throws.
As for Boris: Well, his offensive explosion (30 points on 15 of 21 from the floor) left Chris Bosh so exasperated that Bosh bounced the ball off his own forehead after one Diaw move – a headfake from the left of the lane to get Bosh in the air, and Boris drove right by him for an easy reverse layup. Two other pretty plays: Boris is isolated on the right post against Bosh, and just backs his way down to just under the rim, where he turns and tosses in his half-hook shot. Too easy. The last was the best (and if I find video, I will definitely update): Boris at the top of the key, takes a dribble and then pulls up, head fake – Bosh jumps at it – Boris pitches to Gerald in the corner and heads to the rim, and Gerald completes the give and go by feeding it right back to Boris for the lay-in. Beautiful basketball. Not sure what the occasion was, as the Bobcats were not playing the Suns or Hawks, but Boris was on a mission – perhaps the chance to show up his former teammate Marion? Whatever it was – it was fun to watch Boris dominate in the post, despite his relatively floor-bound game.
Final notes: Nice effort by the Bobcats controlling the ball, with just 11 turnovers (and 3 of those were in the final 4 minutes, when the game was already decided). They forced 16 turnovers by the Raptors and matched Toronto on the offensive glass, 8 to 8. The key number to the game: 83 attempts from the floor for the Cats, just 66 for Toronto. With the Bobcats shooting 50% to the Raps 45%, that was more than enough to offset the Cats being doubled up on free throw attempts, 26 to 13. And, yes, I did say previously that Gerald had 12 attempts from the stripe – Raymond had the only other try for CLT. For tonight, it worked.