Bobcats reprise familiar fourth quarter collapse, lose to Mavs 89-82

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What do you know, it was another great 36 minutes for the Charlotte Bobcats tonight. The thing is, though, games actually last 48 minutes.

Against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, Charlotte had another downtrodden fourth quarter giving up a five-point lead to finish down seven, 89-82. They were out-scored 29-15 in the period with big-time offensive outbursts from Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis in the last quarter. Nowitzki started 1-for-10 from the field in the first half but finished with 25 points after going 9-for-11 in the second half (maybe having Josh McRoberts guarding him was a really bad idea), and Ellis had 22 points on the night.

Also, there was other terrible news came out of this game: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fractured his hand. Add Kidd-Gilchrist to the broken/fractured hand epidemic in the NBA alongside Anthony Davis, J.J. Redick and Paul Pierce. I wonder how Steve Clifford's surprisingly efficient defense will maintain its success without their main defensive anchor on the perimeter.

It will likely be pretty horrific to watch until MKG comes back, to be completely honest.

Another negative: the bench's offensive output. They finished 5-for-30 on the night, mainly because Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions were chucking-up shots like they wanted to give the Bobcats better draft positioning.

Before I get into my individual grades for the game, I have a positive, historical note. Al Jefferson is the first Bobcat since Gerald Wallace to get a double-double in three straight games.

Now, it's time for Tuesday night's individual grades for the Bobcats that played.

Kemba Walker: Finally I cover a game and Kemba is efficient on the offensive end! Walker was 7-for-15 shooting (16 points), with five points and seven rebounds. He did well getting aggressive on offense, but he struggled on defense when he was given the assignment of guarding Ellis. I have to say, Walker impressed me tonight and had a good enough game to deserve a high grade. Grade: A-

Gerald Henderson: Henderson was also efficient on Tuesday. He went 7-for-11, which came out to 16 points as well. By the way, I don't know how Charlotte lost with 67 points from the starting unit. Oh, that's right, the bench only scored 15 points. Back on topic, Henderson also was burnt a little bit when given the assignment of stopping Ellis. Overall, we got the 'good' Gerald Tuesday. Grade: B+

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: MKG only played 19 minutes, and it's due to a broken hand {goes and sobs in the corner}. In his short amount of minutes, we got the usual Kidd-Gilchrist. He was aggressive, but inefficient on offense -- then his usual lockdown-self on the perimeter in Clifford's defense. Grade: INC (B- in his limited minutes)

Josh McRoberts: Well, that was a stat sheet stuffing night for McRoberts. He finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds, three assists and three steals. The issue for McRoberts, though, was his defense. He was given the tough assignment of guarding Nowitzki, who especially torched McRoberts late in the game (though you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who can stop Dirk when he's rolling like that). Dirk lit him up in the fourth quarter, which was quite the departure from the Bobcats' rest of the night. His night was great enough to keep him with a pretty high evaluation from yours truly. Grade: B+

Al Jefferson: Wow, another above-average night for Jefferson. As I mentioned above -- with Jefferson's 19 points and 12 rebounds -- it is the first time a Bobcat has had three straight double-doubles since Gerald Wallace (!!!). Also, Jefferson added three block shots on Tuesday night. If Jefferson continues to have nights like this, he will be well-worth the money -- if he stays healthy. Grade: A

Anthony Tolliver: With Kidd-Gilchrist's hand injury, Tolliver saw increased minutes -- 26 of them. He was brought in, as he always is, to try and hit open shots along the perimeter. It didn't work at all tonight, though. He finished 1-for-5 with three points. Also, what made me scratch my head was Clifford relying on Tolliver down the stretch to hit clutch shots. That was very confusing. Grade: D

Cody Zeller: Zeller was active, but it didn't show on the stat sheet. He had four rebounds and two points in his 19 minutes of action. You should expect nights like this a lot from a rookie, especially one like Zeller who is brought in for energy off the bench. Unfortunately for Zeller, it wasn't one of his best nights. Grade: C

Bismack Biyombo: The league leader in defense rebounding percentage (yes, I was shocked too) was active on the glass, as usual. In his 10 minutes in the game, Biyombo gobbled up five rebounds (two defensive boards). Safe to say Bismack made the most of his time on the court with his main assignment and specialty: rebounding. Grade: B

Jeff Taylor: Did Coach Clifford give up on Jeff Taylor? Who knows at this point, but it's something to keep an eye on. Taylor only played three minutes Tuesday night after picking up two quick fouls. He was also 0-for-2 from the floor. It will be interesting to see how Clifford uses Taylor with Kidd-Gilchrist's injury. On Tuesday night, though, Taylor had a terrible night. Grade: F

Ramon Sessions: Dumpster fire-like night (1-for-9 from the field with 6 points and two turnovers). Grade: F

Ben Gordon: Tire fire-like night (2-for-8 from the field with 4 points and two turnovers). Grade: F

With this loss to Dallas, the Bobcats drop to 8-11 on the season. Next game, Charlotte plays Philadelphia at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday night.

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