Charlotte Bobcats vs T-Wolves, 3/24/10
The Charlotte Bobcats rode Stephen Jackson’s 37 points to a relatively easy victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-95, on Wednesday night at the Cable Box.
Though the Bobcats began a relatively easy stretch in the schedule last night in Washington DC, you wouldn’t have known it by watching the Cats ugly overtime victory against the Wizards. But tonight, at home against the Timberwolves, the Cats took care of business like a playoff team should.
After a loose first 17 minutes or so of the game in which little defense was played, the T-Wolves had opened up a 9 point lead at 43-34. But over the next 6 minutes, the Bobcats turned the defensive intensity way up, blocking shots and forcing turnovers en route to a dominating 20-0 run.
A Ramon Sessions bucket with under a minute left in the half finally stopped the bleeding for the T-Wolves, but the damage had been done. The Cats had exerted their dominance; they took a 10-point lead into halftime and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Jack Is Back (?)
Stephen Jackson’s recent struggles have been well-documented. He’s shooting 37% from the field in the last 10 games — that includes a brutal 13-53 (24.5%) from 3-point distance over the period. He’s finally revealed that he has a nagging left hand injury that may be contributing and warned that it will likely continue to bother him.
But that was all forgotten tonight. Jack came out on fire, hitting his first three shots on the way to 17 first quarter points. He finished with 37 (15-24 FG, 4-6 3PT, 3-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Good riddance to Jack’s slump.
We can’t expect 30+ every night from Jack, but if we can get 25+ AND play the kind of defense that was on display in the second quarter, the Cats may very well make some noise in the playoffs.
- The win runs the Bobcats record to 37-34 overall and 26-8 at home. We’re back in a tie with Miami for the 6th spot currently, and get the nod as we hold the tiebreaker over them.
- Gerald Wallace: 23 points on 9-16 FG, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks
- Raymond Felton: 16 points on 8-10 FG, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 8 assists/0 turnovers
- Larry Hughes came off the bench for 14 minutes; he looked a little better tonight, but still awfully rusty overall. If he can work himself into game shape over the next few weeks (same goes for Nazr) we’ll have quite the deep bench for the playoffs.
- Next game is Friday night at the Cable Box against the Wizards, who have now lost 13 in a row and continue to deal with distractions. I’ll be there and tweeting as usual.