The Charlotte Bobcats have had plenty of woes in late game situations, especially at home. But for the first time in 16 games, Bobcats fans got to drive home happily.
Gerald Henderson made a three pointer with under five seconds left to give the Bobcats a 102-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night. The victory snapped a 16-game home losing streak for the Bobcats, who entered Saturday’s game with the NBA’s worst home record. The Bobcats streak was two short of matching a home losing streak by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
Four of the Bobcats guards hit double digits in scoring. Kemba Walker had 25 points, in addition to eight rebounds and assists. Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon combined for 41 points off the bench. Henderson, the hero on Saturday, had 15 points.
The Timberwolves once again played without their starting frontcourt, as Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic both sat with injuries. Greg Steimsma and Derrick Williams started in their places, and combined for 16 points.
The Bobcats frontcourt didn’t have much production outside of Bismack Biyombo. Biyombo had 10 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in 32 minutes.
Luke Ridnour led the Timberwolves with 22 points. Ricky Rubio had 14 points and eight assists, starting for the injured Alexey Shved. The Timberwolves continued their troubles on the road, and haven’t won on the road since Jan. 3.
Yesterday’s win was a very welcome sight. For a while, the writers here at Roberto Gato have wanted to see some type of progress in late game situations for the team. While Gerald Henderson certainly won’t make a big-time three like that every night, a game like this can certainly give him and the rest of the team confidence going forward.
These are the type of winnable games at home that you never want to lose. The Timberwolves were missing their two best players and to their credit still competed. But you ultimately wanted to see the Bobcats take advantage of their road struggles and play with some extra intensity to pull out a win.
And what more can be said about Kemba Walker? After a disappointing rookie season, Kemba has done a complete 180 and just had a different demenanor on the court. He’s confident, his leadership is improving every game, and he’s just an exciting player to watch. If Walker was on a half-way decent team, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d be on the all-star team. He’s also a Top-5 candidate for most improved player.
The Bobcats perimeter scoring is very dangerous. A lot of teams look at their schedule and see the Bobcats listed, and think it’s an easy win. Sometimes, it’s the case. But you can’t sleep on the scoring depth on the perimeter for the Bobcats. They have four guard averaging double digits, and all of them are talented enough to drop 20 on you every given night. If the Bobcats were getting any type of respectable contributions from their frontcourt, they’d be a competent team.
We’ll see if the Bobcats can take something from this win, as they head to Chicago Monday to run with the Bulls.