Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Kemba scores career high 35 points, and the Bobcats do everything they can to hold onto the win. But it wasn't enough as the Rockets came away at the end.
Hello everybody I'm Chris Barnewall and I'm new here at Rufus on Fire. Sad to say it but I'm starting off here on a tough loss.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead this game, thanks to some good defense where the only player that made more than one basket in the first quarter was Chandler Parsons. The Bobcats harassed the Rockets' slashing guards, which caused a lot of problems for Jeremy Lin and James Harden. This same defense carried over into the second quarter as Lin did not have a single basket the entire first half and James Harden only had two made field goals. At the end of the first half the Bobcats were up 11 and it felt like they had a very good chance of getting a win over the Rockets.
A large part of this 11-point lead was because of the stellar defense of Bismack Biyombo. Biyombo had four blocks in the first half and was rotating at key moments to get in the way of the Rockets players attempting to attack the basket. Biyombo's first-half defense was invaluable to the team's success. Biyombo would finish with seven blocks, and despite having a rough third quarter on defense, he reappeared in the fourth quarter once again, hounding the Rockets with his defense.
When the second half started, the Rockets' defense had largely improved. This caused a lot of problems for the Bobcats' offense. Not very many good shots were being taken, and when they did take a good shot, they were not making them. The Rockets got the lead down to two, and it truly felt like it was going to be another blown lead for the Cats.
However, Mike Dunlap called a timeout. When the Bobcats came out of it, they were firing on all cylinders, quickly getting the lead back up to 11.
This is where Kemba Walker comes in. Kemba had already made three shots from behind the arc in the first half and was able to add two more in the third quarter going 4 for 5 from the field. At the end of the third, Kemba had 28 points and the Bobcats were up 81-74, continuing to hold off the Rockets.
The fourth quarter did not start out well for the Bobcats, who shot 1-11 early on. Once again, the Rockets got back in the game. This time, however, the Bobcats couldn't push them away. The teams traded leads, with Kemba scoring much of the Bobcats' offense, but it was just too much. One final three-pointer (the Rockets tenth one of the night) sealed the deal.
There was a lot of good in the Bobcats loss today, so why did they lose?
Well, most teams don't do well when their opponent makes 10 three-pointers against them. It also didn't help that there were a lot of times the only defense the Bobcats could play was to foul, and James Harden knew this. Harden had 29 points despite only making five baskets made from the field.
How? 21 free-throw attempts, and he made 19 of them. The Rockets as a whole shot 41 free-throws and made 32 of them. Compare this to the 24 FT's that the Bobcats took. The Bobcats put up a valiant effort tonight, but the Rockets seemed to make more key shots when it mattered. A rough loss indeed.
Bobcat of the Game: Kemba Walker
35 Points, 5 assists. Walker and Ramon Sessions did major damage to the Rockets' backcourt, causing them major problems all game.