Bobcats Chronicles

How a young NBA franchise gets it going

Recap: Bobcats 114 Suns 109 (1 OT) – A long run to the top

Posted by Sup on January 27, 2010

Boxscore Recap

In the end, the Bobcats won this one in overtime 114-109. And it was a battle every single step of the way.

The Suns refused to relinquish the lead on 11 different occasions when the Bobcats were within one or two points, and through the course of the game, it looked like they could continue to take the shots from Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, and Gerald Wallace without folding. The Suns were never on fire (except from three point range), never got a lead bigger than 9, but never gave up the lead until a Jackson layup with 6:41 to go in the fourth.

Steve Nash was held in check in the first half, not scoring at all until the third period. Raymond Felton did an outstanding job of containing him on the perimeter, until he started finding the range from long distance. In fact, the Suns almost took the Orlando Magic’s path to victory over Charlotte, casting up 34 3 point attempts, making 15. It seemed as though every time the Bobcats drew within one or two, Nash, Jared Dudley, or Channing Frye would toss in a three to stretch the leads back out. But the Bobcats refused to lay down in the face of the three point barrage this time.

The key at the end of the game was the Bobcats’ ability to run the Suns off their three point marks toward the end of the game. Dudley, who was 5-9 from three, was pressured into a wild attempts at the end of regulation, after Felton shut down Nash’s attempted drives to the basket. Larry Brown,  in his post game presser, said “The fact that Raymond is one of the few guys that can stop Nash from penetrating at will was really important…I’m just proud of my team.”

Jackson was huge here. He scored 30 points to lead all scorers, plus a three point dagger from the top of the key to tie the game at 98 before the final defensive stand of regulation. With Wallace having fouled out (21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists), Felton stepped up in overtime to score 6 of his 17 in the overtime. He is becoming as dependable a scorer in the clutch as you would like, lifting his teardrop drives over taller defenders in the lane.

The other big contributor on the night was Boris Diaw. 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in 47 minutes is a line LeBron James would be proud of. Just as key was his block of a Nash jumper from 17 feet which lead to a Flip Murray three in overtime. I noticed early that Diaw was active, getting 6 of his rebounds on the offensive end, and scoring 8 points in the opening frame, including a crazy underhand flip from about 10 feet.

Brown was thrilled with the play of his team tonight, even when they were trailing. He said “We were playing great and we couldn’t stop them.” The important thing was they hung on until the opportunities presented themselves for the win. The Bobcats snapped the three game skid they were on, and gain some momentum going into a game with another defensively challenged team in the Golden State Warriors. Did you know Dell Curry’s son Stephen plays for them?  If you didn’t before last night’s broadcast….well, you do know.

‘Cat of the Night – This one goes to Diaw and Jackson, but Wallace (twelve trips to the line, getting Suns players in foul trouble) and Felton (7-8 from the field, great crunch time defense and offense) both could be thrown in. In addition to his 30, Jackson also had 9 boards and 5 assists, to go with only 1 turnover.

Stat of the Night – 48. That’s the number of rebounds the Bobcats were able to snag, outrebounding the Suns by 7. The deficit was much greater in the third, when they were outrebounding Phoenix 31-20. This rebounding edge was what kept them in the game while the Suns were raining down threes.

Notable Notables

  • I don’t remember the last time I saw a team penalized for two few men on the court, but it happened to the Suns with 3:53 to go in the third.
  • I have heard that Steve Nash is overrated. Not from what I see. He’s 35, and was killing the Bobcats in the second half with his shooting, including a near steal by Derrick Brown on the left side that turned into Nash nailing a three over him as he fell down trying to grab the ball.
  • Wallace was frustrated with the foul calls all night, but he had an absolutely filthy behind the back shake on Jason Richardson for a dunk in the third.
  • Richardson has clearly regressed since his arrival in Phoenix last year. He was barely a factor, going 0-6 from deep and 2-12 overall. Stoudamire was saddled with early foul trouble and finished with only 12 points.
  • This was the Bobcats’ first victory in Phoenix since the team’s entry in the league in 2004.
  • Jared Dudley really likes the place: he scored 18 with 10 boards. Not bad for an underathletic wing, but he’s smart and a basketball player. He’s going to be the old guy at the Y who just plain out hustles you, even though he’s 20 years older.
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