(Courtersy Chuck Burton - AP)
Well, another great outing for the Bobcats that had to end with a loss. We keep having really good games against teams that everyone writes off as a win against the Bobcats, but every time, the Bobcats step up to the challenge and the games are exciting to watch. Tonight’s game was no exception. After doing a little talking on @PodCats, I was ready to settle in to what I predicted to be a 3-point victory for the Bobcats. I’m not fond of making predictions, but I love my Bobcats and I know what they are capable of
With Russell Westbrook out of the game, the primary concern needed to be to keep the Thunder team in check, and frustrate Kevin Durant. The Bobcats did a decent job of frustrating him in the first half, but players like Jeremy Lamb and Serge Ibaka helped to carry some of the weight for the Thunder in that first half. Lamb finished with 10 points and Ibaka with 12. Ibaka also had 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, & 2 assists.
The game is 2 halves, and though we saw the first half end at a score of 42 – 36, we still looked like we could take care of business.
The second half started off with 2 quick makes by the Thunder, which prompted a full timeout by Coach Clifford to try and rally the troops. Well, he tried, but the Thunder lead grew to as many as 16 points. The Bobcats are a resilient team, however, and they roared back to within 2. Durant’s shot started to fall, and after 2 3-pointers back-to-back, and a 3rd 2-point shot, things looked grim for the Bobcats
I said looked, because the Bobcats roared to life again and pulled back to within 2 points. It just wasn’t meant to be though, because off of an inbounds play, McRoberts had to take a wide open 3-pointer, and it fell just short. A tough break because I personally think that a 2-point shot in the paint and a trip to overtime, we could have beaten the Thunder. Instead, we fall 89 – 85 and our record stands at 14-16.
You have to hand it to the Bobcats; this is some of the best and most exciting and competitive playing we have ever seen out of this team. 4 of the 5 starters were in double figures. We only had 8 turnovers, and we were 9-23 from the 3-point line. There are so many positives I am seeing from this team, and games such as these against the NBA’s elite…the league should be buzzing about the Bobcats. Here are some of our players’ stat lines:
Kemba Walker = 18 points / 7 assists / 0 turnovers / 4 rebounds / 1 steal
Al Jefferson = 16 points / 11 rebounds / 1 block
Gerald Henderson = 14 points / 3 rebounds / 1 assist
Josh McRoberts = 13 points / 7 assists / 6 rebounds / 2 steals / 2 blocks
Anthony Tolliver = 6 points / 3 rebounds / 2 assists / 1 steal
I’m not awarding an individual “Player of the Game” tonight because there wasn’t really a standout. Every player that was suited up scored at least 2 points. We kept OKC under 90 points. It was a team effort, and I give the whole team a big round of applause. Good job guys and good luck on the road trip.