The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Houston Rockets 99-89 on Friday night at the Cable Box behind a strong second half and double-doubles from Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace. The Cats started out sluggish (again) and were down by as much as 11 in the second quarter.
But the Bobcats starting five (Nazr Mohammed edition) took control in the third quarter and never looked back; they outscored the Rockets 54-37 in the second half. Now I’ll have to qualify this by noting that the Rockets were without Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming (and weren’t very good with them, anyways), but the way the Bobcats played in the second half was the closest to how they played last year during their playoff push that I’ve seen yet this year.
The Rockets were seriously underpowered. What happened to Kevin Martin? 16 quiet points; though apparently he is averaging 23 ppg this year. Just didn’t see it tonight.
Gerald had another tough shooting night (6-21 FG) but kept at it and ended up leading the Cats with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He had another spectacular block of a Chase Budinger breakaway jam that was wrongly called a foul.
Boris Diaw stole the show offensively in the second half, ending with 20 points (9-14 FG) on a mix of long and mid-range jumpers, hooks and scoops. He even had a strong drive to the bucket that ended in a near-dunk. I see in the play-by-play that it’s being credited as a dunk, and that’s very kind of the home scorekeeper. Boris also added 10 rebounds.
Stephen Jackson (16 points), Nazr Mohammed (15 points on 6-9 FG, 7 rebounds), and DJ Augustin (11 assists/1 turnover) all had nice games.
Off the bench, Ty Thomas was quiet, but Shaun Livingston had one of his better games as a Bobcat, with 10 points on 4-7 FG.
So this is my third year being a season-ticket-holder, and I’ve successfully avoided being shown on the scoreboard bigscreen. But tonight, I attended the game with Cardboard Gerald, and my streak was ended during the first possible break in the first quarter. Such is the power of Cardboard Gerald.
One of the LadyCats’ hair extensions fell out while she was dancing. I can cross that one off my Bucket List now.
The Bobcats are headed to Milwaukee for the second night of another back-to-back — 9PM ET start Saturday night.
Stephen Jackson led the Charlotte Bobcats to a 102-94 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Cable Box on Tuesday night. AP recap here, box score here. The Cats improve to 17-19 overall, and a stunning 14-4 at home.
The Cats gave up 60 points to the Rockets in a miserable defensive first half. Luis Scola’s crafty and scrappy offensive game was working, and Trevor Ariza, Aaron Brooks, Shane Battier and Chase Budinger took turns draining threes on the Cats’ lackadaisical perimeter defense. However, when the second half rolled around, the defensive intensity was ratcheted up. The Rockets would only get 17 points in each of the third and fourth quarters.
The Bobcats, who had been down by as much as 13 in the second quarter, chipped away in the third quarter and eventually overtook the Rockets in the fourth behind a Steven Jackson onslaught.
Jackson set a new career high and an all-time Bobcats single-game high in going for 43 points on 15-22 FG/3-5 3PT/10-11 FT He also added 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists/2 turnovers. Jack got off to a quick start, scoring 10 of the Bobcats first 14 points, and then finished huge. With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Jackson was unstoppable with 16 points. He did a lot of his damage on the defensively hapless Chase Budinger, but also hurt Trevor Ariza a bunch.
Rockets defensive ace Shane Battier held Gerald Wallace to an off night, and occasionally guarded Jackson, but clearly not enough. Boris Diaw had a nice night with 19 points on 8-13 FG, 7 rebounds and 6 assists — and a 3-point play with 50 seconds that really sealed the deal.
The Cats kept turnovers low again, just 11.
That’s 14-13 since the Jack trade, 5 out of the last 6, and 5 home wins in a row.
No Derrick Brown or Gerald Henderson tonight as Brown has really tightened up the rotation. 45 minutes/game for Wallace, Diaw and Jackson is getting results now, but you have to wonder what the effects might be over the course of the long season.
The Cats are off for a couple days, then back in action for a fun home back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, hosting the Spurs and Suns, respectively.