The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 109-89 on Monday night at the Cable Box; the Cats have now defeated the Lakers 8 out of the last 10 times the two teams have played. Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 20 points and 11 rebounds; Gerald Henderson added 18 points (6-9 FG, 5-5 FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks off the bench.
The deck was stacked against the Lakers to start: they were finishing up a long road trip AND on the second night of a back-to-back; plus, Kobe was under the weather. After a bit of a slow start, the Cats took advantage, building a six point lead to take into halftime.
The wheels really fell off for the Lakers late in the third. With a laboring Kobe on the bench, the Cats went on a 14-3 run, capped by a 15-foot jumper and a short hook shot by Kwame Brown and a three pointer at the buzzer by Gerald Wallace, for a 78-60 lead after three.
The barrage continued with Kobe and the Lakers starters back on the court to start the fourth, this time headed by Gerald Henderson and Nazr Mohammed, who both appeared to be unguardable for the exhausted Lakers. The Bobcats led by as much as 28 a couple of times before the benches emptied.
- After oversleeping and arriving late to shootaround, Boris Diaw was supposedly going to be benched to start the game as discipline. But Silas apparently changed his mind, as Boris started and played well with 16 points (3-6 3PT).
- DJ Augustin was supposedly also out after being limited in shootaround with a sprained wrist. But after pregame warmups he declared himself ready to go and notched 9 assists vs. 0 turnovers. Still not a complete bounceback from his recent slump, though, as he shot 3-7 FG and 1-4 3PT for just 7 points.
- This has to be said: even if you took Stephen Jackson’s proclivity for antagonizing the officials and drawing technical fouls out of the equation, Gerald Henderson would still be pushing him for playing time. Henderson’s been that good recently.
- With beat writer Rick Bonnell on furlough this week, the rest of the Observer’s sports crew filled in. Check out good posts by Ron Green on what this win meant for the Bobcats and this post by Scott Fowler on Phil Jackson’s terse postgame comments/Kobe’s no-show.
- The win moves the Bobcats to 24-31 and 1.5 games back from Indiana for the 8th playoff spot.
- Quick turnaround as the Bobcats head to Chicago for a back-to-back against the Bulls Tuesday night, 8PM ET start. The Bulls will be looking to avenge two losses the Cats from earlier this season.