Bobcats Chronicles

How a young NBA franchise gets it going

Recap: Magic 106 Bobcats 95 (1 OT)- Better and worse than it looked

Posted by Sup on January 24, 2010

Boxscore Recap

Going into the fourth quarter of a home game against a division rival, down 10 points, your leading scorers combining thus far for 11 points (all by one of them), and the opposition raining three pointers at will is no way to keep a 9 game home winning streak alive. But the Bobcats almost pulled it off.

Unfortunately, all that work left them with little to show for it in the extra session. After forcing a tie at 92 on a Stephen Jackson layup, the Bobcats allowed the Orlando Magic to get back on top with a 10-0 run to start the overtime, and the result: a 106-95 loss that sends the Bobcats on the much anticipated 6 game roadie on a two game skid.

Gerald Wallace went scoreless into the fourth period, and was both showing signs of less aggressive drives to basket because of the tweaked ankle, and moving the ball more quickly out of his hands to avoid double teams. He finished with 9 points on 2-11 shooting and 10 rebounds. His efforts were key in the fourth to get the Bobcats within striking distance though, as he slashed a few times to the basket and went to the line.  Jackson’s line (6-18, only 6 free throw attempts, 15 points) showed a player who took too many jumpshots. The presence of Dwight Howard (10 points, 20 rebounds, 7 blocks) probably had something to do with it. Howard threw back shots with an audible slap on multiple occasions. Raymond Felton, also nursing a sore ankle, managed to get 15 shots up, made 6 and scored 14, but was victimized by Jameer Nelson (8-12, 21 points, 7 assists 3-3 from the arc).

The Magic aren’t know for restraint at the arc, and they played like my stepson on NBA 2K9: toss up the 3 and hope for the best. This night, they got it: they were 14-39 from three point range. Rashard Lewis took 17 shots, 13 of which were from 3 (6-17, 18 points). Of all the players on the Magic roster that played last night and attempted a three, only Howard (0-1), Ryan Anderson (0-1), and Jason Williams (0-1) didn’t make one. On the night, they were led in scoring by Nelson and Vince Carter (8-16, 21 points, 5 rebounds).

How did the Bobcats stay in this game, in which at one point they were trailing by as many as 16 in the third? D.J. Augustin found his stroke, and had his best game in a month. He led all  scorers with 22 (5-9 from three) in 30 minutes, much of which came during Felton’s long stint on the bench in the third quarter. Nazr Mohammed held his own in the post, scoring 12 points and getting 9 rebounds. Gana Diop also put up respectable minutes (20) and numbers (3-3, 6 points, 4 boards) against Howard.

It is very very difficult to win a game when your top two options are as bottled up as Jackson and Wallace were last night, and it showed great determination for the Bobcats to get back into it. But in the end, a loss is a loss, and they dropped back down to .500 before heading on this critical road trip, losing momentum and very likely confidence in the process.

The questions remain about both Felton’s and Wallace’s health, Boris Diaw’s confidence, and the suddenly shaky D. Denver isn’t the place you want to go to rediscover your swagger, but that’s the hand that has been dealt. This road trip just became that much more critical.

‘Cat of the Night – No question, it was Augustin. He was able to drain threes and score when the team absolutely needed him most, and was on the court with Felton during the critical fourth period run. It wasn’t enough, but it was a terrific performance from a guy who needed one.

Stat of the Night – 14-39 (Orlando from 3 point range) and 7. (blocks by Howard). The Magic’s barrage of three pointers made almost the entire difference in the game. The rest was made up by Howard’s complete domination of the paint on defense. The teams came out almost even on the boards thanks to good work by Wallace, Diaw and Mohammed, but Howard made drives to the hoop a risky proposition for the small guards. the 39.8% shooting by the Bobcats bears that out.

Notable Notables

  • I realize Stephen Jackson is the leading scorer, and his swagger and confidence are part of what makes this team go. But his shot selection has got to be questioned from time to time. Quick 3s in transition aren’t really what this team needs from him, and he chucked a couple up last night that were dubious at best.
  • You have to admire the toughness of Felton. He played on an ankle that looked much worse than it ended up being, but was clearly limited against the quick and strong Nelson. Felton hates to miss any time, and the team needed him last night.
  • The Bobcats were able to keep the turnovers down to a more respectable 12, but the inability to defend the three point line negated all the good that came from it.
  • Stephen Jackson finally got a technical foul last night for yapping at the refs. He does this all. The. Time. I really wish he would lay off and play, but you know what you are getting with him.
  • Those NASCAR uni’s are awful. Awful, awful awful. The combo of pinstripes and checkerboard pattern is disturbing, if not downright unwatchable. I know, this is NASCAR Country, the Hall of Fame is right down the block from the Cable Box, and the boys like Kyle Petty and Jimmy Johnson were there last night. But please….mothball these things for good after this one, OK?
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