The Bobcats took a 14 point lead into the half, gave it all back in the third quarter, then struggled through the fourth, and then stormed back in the final few minutes of the game to force overtime. In the extra period, they carried over their momentum from crunch time, eventually defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-105.
Kevin Love had yet another huge game, leading the Wolves with 35 points on 11-16 shooting, and 15rebounds. For the Cats, Tyrus Thomas and D.J. Augustin probably share Player of the Game honors for their clutch play late in the game, though Kwame Brown and Dominic McGuire also played well earlier on.
Even though this was a barnburner with one of the worst teams in the league, we can take solace knowing that the road win came with two of the Cats' three best players missing the game with injury (Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson).
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
Stevarino -- With Jax out, [Diaw] probably feels like he needs to shoulder much of the offensive load. The ball won’t be disappearing into the hands of the black hole known as Stephen Jackson. Also, he might be trying to outplay Love, but I doubt that has anything to do with it. And it is about time for his one good game out of six played.
-- D.J. Augustin had his worst game in a very long time (until crunch time and overtime), and it still didn't end up all that bad. He shot 4-17 from the field for 16 points. While he did get 8 assists, he did not make up for his poor shooting by getting to the line (until crunch time and overtime), and his defense was typically mediocre. I will say this, though: Dude's as confident as they come now, and he needs to be that kind of fearless shooter to be the best he can be. He bombed away for a pair of clutch threes late, even having made only one shot from the field up to that point, and did so much in crunch time that it seems almost heartless to put him in the Bad section, except that he truly did stink until crunch time and overtime, and nearly cost the Cats the game before saving it for them.
-- None of the high-volume shooters scored efficiently. Augustin's stats are noted above, but also, Diaw shot 7-20 for 16 points, and Tyrus Thomas shot 10-18 for 21 points. If those are your top three in shot attempts, you've got long odds to win.
-- Despite Thomas's overzealous shooting (an ongoing problem), he did get 11 rebounds in 36 minutes, and played some clutch on-ball defense, destroying Michael Beasley in two straight possessions in the final minute of regulation and in the final possession of overtime. His predilection for shooting is positively Ron Artest-ian in how infuriating it is, but he brings so much more to the table than reckless shooting that he's well worth playing big minutes.
-- Kwame Brown had a monster first half, getting to double digits in rebounds before the break. He ended the game with 8 points on 3-6 shooting, and 14 rebounds.
-- McGuire shot 5-5 from the field for 10 points in 17 minutes. (Obligatory jab: 2 rebounds? 2 turnovers? Come on!)
-- The Cats turned it over only 12 times in 53 minutes, well below their season average.
-- Mad props to the Wolves fans who stuck around to watch overtime and chanted "M! V! P!" when Love went to the line for free throws. That's good hustle.