After a relatively slow start, the Bobcats were able to heat up from the field late in the first quarter as Kemba Walker was able to barry a three which gave Charlotte an early 13-7 lead. The Bobcats’ largest lead was nine in the first frame, but the Hawks wouldn’t go away. If it weren’t for the presence of Al Jefferson, the story of the first quarter might have been written a little differently. Big Al was able to go 4-6 from the field and finished the quarter with 6 rebounds. Ultimately, at the end of 12 minutes of action, the Bobcats held a 26-24 lead on the Hawks.
As a whole, the second quarter was very underwhelming. Charlotte just didn’t look like a team battling for postseason positioning. When the opposition sits three starters, you would expect a relatively easy win for the ‘Cats, right? That was certainly not the case as the ‘Cats found themselves down at the half by six points. Kemba Walker showed his rust, as he shot just 1-7 on 16 minutes of playing time in the first half.
The second half started off as much of the same, and in some cases, even worse. After being down by fifteen at the end of three, the Bobcats went on a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter. Interestingly enough, this run was put together by Charlotte’s second unit. Coach Clifford was clearly not impressed with the way his starters had been playing, and his reserves answered the call to perfection. With 5:47 to go in regulation, the Cats found themselves tied with the Hawks at 84 a piece.
Late in the fourth, the Bobcats had an opportunity to win the game, as the contest was tied once again with under three seconds to go in regulation. And who made the winning shot you might ask? Well a player from the second unity of course, as Chris Douglas-Roberts was able to finish off the Hawks with a buzzer beater to give the Bobcats their 42nd victory of the season.
Final Score: Bobcats 95 - Hawks 93
Grading the Starters:
Charlotte Sports Blog’s Player Of The Game: G Luke Ridnour
- Before you laugh, it’s time to realize Ridnour was arguably the biggest part of the Bobcats’ comeback. His quality minutes of late have proven to ‘Cats’ fans that he is a solid backup point guard in the league. Ridnour also showed that he is capable of picking up the slack when Walker is struggling.
Next ‘Cats’ Game:
The Bobcats will return home tonight to begin the preparation process for the Chicago Bulls whom the team will play on Wednesday nights. Please note the game time has changed from 8pm to 7pm.
What’s at stake Wednesday? Well quite a lot actually. As long as the Bulls hold on, both teams will be battling for playoff seeding.
Bulls: The Bulls will be playing for the third seed Wednesday night. Chicago and Toronto currently have the same record with the tie breaker going to Toronto. In order for the Bulls to get the third seed, they must take care of business in Charlotte and hope for a Raptors’ loss in New York.
Bobcats: The Bobcats will be playing for the sixth seed on Wednesday night. The Cats’ currently trail the Wizards by one game, but do have the tiebreaker in the series. If Charlotte wins, the Wizards would have to lose in Boston for the Bobcats to reclaim the sixth seed.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe