The Charlotte Bobcats are back in the win column after besting the Orlando Magic 111-101.
The Cats started the game firing on all cylinders against a noticeably lethargic Magic team, starting off the 1st quarter with a 21-3 run in which the Magic hit only 1 of their first 10 field goals. The Cats ended the first quarter with a 30-18 lead.
But the Magic made it a game, going on a 35-22 run in the second quarter and taking a one point lead going into halftime. Normally this would seem like a death sentence for a Cats team that has struggled to close out games as of late, but this time they were able to hit some key shots that held the Magic at bay for most of the second half.
A big man was the biggest reason why the Cats were able to hold off a surging Magic. Al Jefferson scored 30 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against a Magic front court that is without its best big man Nik Vucevic, leaving Jefferson with only an undersized Glen Davis to deal with.
“We want to play through him,” Walker said. “We get opportunities on fast breaks and things like that, but whenever we can get him the basketball we want to because he makes all the right plays.”
Kemba Walker had another fine performance, scoring 19 point and dishing out 10 assists. Walker has been fantastic, even in the middle of a bad losing slump. In the last five games, Walker is averaging 22.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.0 assists. All while shooting 47 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc.
The Cats also got some extra scoring from Gerald Henderson and Josh McRoberts, who both contributed 17 points a piece.
Even though the game may have gotten away from the Bobcats at times, Head Coach Steve Clifford was proud of the way his squad grinded out the victory.
“I like the way we played. We had good fight,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. “There were times there where we could have caved, but we showed good poise and good execution.”
With the win, the Bobcats snap a three game road losing streak, and enter into a big home game Saturday night against Lebron James and the Heat with some positive momentum.