The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Phoenix Suns in overtime Tuesday night, 114-109. The Cats looked like the better team for much of the game, yet still trailed until the fourth quarter, as the Suns unleashed a barrage of three pointers, finishing the game 15-34 from deep. It was only the fourth road win of the season for Charlotte.
Stephen Jackson hit a monster clutch three with 19.7 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, tying the game. (Making. Love. To. Pressure.) The Bobcats played solid defense on the ensuing possession, forcing Steve Nash to give up the ball to Jared Dudley, who tossed up an awkward attempt, which bounced off the rim, sending the game to overtime. In the extra frame, the Cats' defense turned up a notch, and they were able to hold on with clutch plays from seemingly unlikely sources: a block from Boris Diaw and a dagger three from Ronald Murray.
This doesn't prove that top defense beats top offense, or that the Cats are ready for prime time, but it does imply a certain amount of resilience and heart to return to the floor and play so well, overcoming three and a half quarters of adversity, the night after a dispiriting road loss to a shorthanded Nuggets squad.
Highlights and lowlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENTS
Aisander D: I can see [Larry Brown] start to try rapping, only to bench the director of the ad and start singing show tunes.
Ft.Mill Bobcat: Dudley's talented, but reminds me of a cabbage patch doll.
WhatAboutBob_cats: I know [Nash is] canadian but his head isn’t split in half horizontally at the mouth.
Multiple: Just Ctrl-F the page for "nonchalant" and follow along.
-- Nazr Mohammed had a ludicrously frustrating night, ending up with only 4 points on 1-9 shooting from the field in 21 minutes. As well as he's played thus far, a little regression toward the mean should be expected.
-- Holy jump shots, Batman. The Suns scorched the Cats from beyond the three point line, shooting, as noted above, 15-34. I'm not sure if that's bad luck or bad defense, but I'll guess it's a little of both.
-- Somebody, somewhere, has the stat, but I don't know where to look... The Bobcats looked terrible most of the time the Suns played zone defense. I suspect we've seen zone looks much more often than other NBA teams because the Cats are so bad at shooting from distance, and as the season goes along with relatively poor shooting from our perimeter players, we'll see even more of it.
-- Gerald Wallace again turned in an All Star performance, with 21 points on 13 attempts and 9 rebounds. Argue about his final two fouls all you want, but he did give Nash a shove on both of them, as shown by the slow motion replays. It sucks that he got called for them when, usually, those calls are let go, and we could have used him during the final minutes.
-- Diaw hit his ceiling, scoring 24 points on 17 attempts, grabbing 11 rebounds, and distributing 5 assists. Please sir, can I have some more?
-- The Bobcats' rebounding was in fine form, led by Wallace and Diaw, but supplemented by 6 from Mohammed and 9 from Jax. The Suns are not a good rebounding team, but the Cats still stepped up.
-- The Cats don't win if they don't go 25-30 from the line. Free throw shooting was at a premium, and they delivered, especially in the end game, when the Suns were fouling in their last ditch effort to stay afloat.