Shaun Livingston and Gerald Wallace stepped up in a big way tonight, leading the Charlotte Bobcats to victory over the Boston Celtics, 94-89. Livingston came off the bench to lead the Cats with 18 points, and Wallace scored 18 and pulled down 16 boards.
A rational assessment of this win necessarily acknowledges caveats to the great effort and performance the home team gave, but I choose to ignore those caveats right now in order to bask in sweet victory.
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
the new Bradfather -- Livingston is feeling it! (DA -- This was posted at 7:49pm; prophetic, indeed.)
-- Stephen Jackson was assessed with two technicals and ejected early in the game. While that opened up playing time for Gerald Henderson, who was solid and clutch, if unspectacular earlier on -- and probably produced about what we should have expected from Jax -- Henderson simply doesn't have the ceiling that Jax does.
-- Livingston had his best game as a Bobcat, and perhaps his best game since his major knee injury, scoring 18 points on 10 attempts in only 22 minutes. While he only had 3 assists, and turned it over 4 times, that was more a function of attempting to take advantage of the smaller guys guarding him. He earned the opportunity to play in crunch time.
-- Eduardo Najera, in the fourth quarter, spent an entire defensive possession jawing with Kevin Garnett, who gesticulated wildly at him as both teams made their way down the floor to the Bobcats' offensive end. Najera then hit a three in KG's face. Phenomenal swag. From Eduardo Najera.
-- Wallace was a man possessed, grabbing boards left and right, outrunning everyone down the floor, and guarding both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen effectively. While he wasn't the most efficient shooter, All Star Crash was back, pretty much rendering his 6-16 shooting night moot.
-- Henderson is proving, game after game, that he belongs in the NBA. He plays good defense. He runs the floor better than anyone on the Cats other than Wallace, and even though he can't hit a 20-foot jumper, he can definitely hit a 17-foot jumper, and despite that limitation, he's athletic enough to get to the rim. In other words, every single scouting report on him when he came out of Duke was totally correct. His ceiling is Ronnie Brewer, which would be a fantastic development.