Score: 87-86 (OT) Charlotte
Bobcats record: 40-35
Offensive Efficiency: 95.6
Defensive Efficiency: 94.5
Meritorious Player: Scott Wall err I mean Stephen Jackson 32 points, 5 rebs, 6 turnovers
Before I get to how hard these two playoff teams fought and how the Bobcats rallied after a ridiculously early ejection for Larry Brown lets talk a little about how this game was officiated. The referees really let these two teams play throughout, Charlotte is one of the best teams in the league and while they shot 27 free throws it certainly seemed it should have been more.
Stephen Jackson says the Bobcats can learn from this experience, we got a taste of how the playoffs are going to be. The referees were definitely refereeing a playoff way. This was certainly a physical game but I don't think this will go on the best of list for the officiating crew.
Scott Wall was the referee that called the foul on Luc Mbah a Moute as the shot clock was about to expire and Jackson lay helpless on the ground still trying to grab a loose ball, I've never seen a call made like that with the game on the line. I have know idea how the officials can make a call like that after letting both teams play for the first 52 minutes of the game.
Outside of the inconsistency there was the weird ejection of Larry Brown early in the 2nd quarter. Brown is no Allan Bristow or Bernie Bickerstaff, he's not going to say anything that will throw himself out of the game especially that early. Jackson thought the ejection was just a misunderstanding between Brown and the official, but does admit it motivated him as well, When a guy is fighting for you you've got to show him you'll fight for him also. I wanted to play even harder to get this win for him.
While Jackson took some really bad shots that anybody's high school coach would pull them out of the game for, he also came up with some big plays. His three-pointer with 52 seconds remaining was basically the game winner, he nailed another clutch three late in the 4th to give Charlotte a 76-73 lead.
Now don't get me wrong, I know 32 point on 28 shots with six turnovers is not an efficient game but there wasn't another Bobcat capable of hitting any of those threes tonight. Felton who's played hero several times before was having one of those 4-for-15 nights similar to his play during the Sam Vincent era while Gerald Wallace just couldn't get to the paint as the Bucks kept running bodies at him. Give Jackson credit he played 41 minutes with a bad hamstring and elbow and made the biggest shots of the game.
And it was good to see Tyson Chandler continue to play well. Seven points and six rebounds including the offensive rebound that sealed the win. This was certainly playoff level intensity and while it was easy on the eyes at times (30 combined points in the 4th quarter yikes!) the 18 thousand plus that showed up got their money's worth. On to Chicago.