The Bobcats were defeated 83-78 by a shorthanded Utah Jazz squad on the road in Salt Lake City on Monday night. The Cats were led by Stephen Jackson (24 points) and DJ Augustin (20) in the loss and fall to 20-27 overall.
After a day off to recharge in the middle of the road trip, this matchup looked ripe for the taking when Deron Williams was ruled out prior to the game with a wrist injury.
Besides, even with their all-star, Utah had been reeling recently, losing 7 of their last 8. But the Jazz came out strong with an 11-0 run to start the game, and proceeded to outrebound (49-36) and outmuscle the Cats in the paint. The Jazz front line of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko all had double doubles: Jefferson 21/11, Millsap 14/12, and Kirilenko 13/11. Jefferson and Kirilenko each had 3 blocks; Millsap added one.
To contrast, the Bobcats were led by DJ Augustin and Stephen Jackson with 8 rebounds apiece. Kwame Brown had a miserable night with just 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 fouls in 23 minutes.
CJ Miles provided some perimeter scoring for the Jazz off the bench with 20 points; Earl Watson, who started at the point in place of Deron Williams, ended with an inexplicable plus-minus of +26 for the game.
The Bobcats could never establish much flow and shot the ball miserably, finishing at 35.6% from the field. Nonetheless, they were in the game until the final moments. Stephen Jackson hit four straight free throws to bring the Cats within one at 79-78 with two minutes left.
But with the Jazz frontline dominating the paint, the Bobcats couldn’t go with their preferred small lineup to finish the game (DJ, Henderson, Jack, Wallace and Diaw) and instead went with Eduardo Najera instead of Henderson. It’s understandable, as going small would have put Gerald Wallace on Paul Millsap.
But it didn’t work, as the Bobcats couldn’t generate any offense after Jack’s free throws and never scored again AND Millsap grabbed two back-breaking offensive rebounds down the stretch.
- If you wanted to put together a reel of games to convince yourself that it might be time to trade Gerald Wallace, add this one to it. Just didn’t bring anything to the table tonight.
- In addition to the Jazz 11-o run to start the game, they had another 11-0 run to start the third quarter and a 10-o run to start the fourth.
- Cardboard Gerald caught Jimmer Fredette, Jimmer Fredette’s girlfriend, and Jimmer Fredette’s girlfriend’s poof in the stands.
- If you’re looking for a Bobcats highlight, it’s probably Najera’s trip into the courtside seats, as pictured above. As he got up, he picked up one lady’s crushed, now empty cup and pantomimed ordering her a new drink. Good enough for a bloopers video. Oh, and DJ hit a pretty crazy reverse layup that should make the highlights.
- Next game is Wednesday night as the Cats wrap up this six-game road trip in Detroit against the Pistons — 7:30 PM ET start. A win will give the Cats a 4-2 road trip as they head into a tough stretch of home games.