The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Houston Rockets 99-89 on Friday night at the Cable Box behind a strong second half and double-doubles from Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace. The Cats started out sluggish (again) and were down by as much as 11 in the second quarter.
But the Bobcats starting five (Nazr Mohammed edition) took control in the third quarter and never looked back; they outscored the Rockets 54-37 in the second half. Now I’ll have to qualify this by noting that the Rockets were without Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming (and weren’t very good with them, anyways), but the way the Bobcats played in the second half was the closest to how they played last year during their playoff push that I’ve seen yet this year.
- The Rockets were seriously underpowered. What happened to Kevin Martin? 16 quiet points; though apparently he is averaging 23 ppg this year. Just didn’t see it tonight.
- Gerald had another tough shooting night (6-21 FG) but kept at it and ended up leading the Cats with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He had another spectacular block of a Chase Budinger breakaway jam that was wrongly called a foul.
- Boris Diaw stole the show offensively in the second half, ending with 20 points (9-14 FG) on a mix of long and mid-range jumpers, hooks and scoops. He even had a strong drive to the bucket that ended in a near-dunk. I see in the play-by-play that it’s being credited as a dunk, and that’s very kind of the home scorekeeper. Boris also added 10 rebounds.
- Stephen Jackson (16 points), Nazr Mohammed (15 points on 6-9 FG, 7 rebounds), and DJ Augustin (11 assists/1 turnover) all had nice games.
- Off the bench, Ty Thomas was quiet, but Shaun Livingston had one of his better games as a Bobcat, with 10 points on 4-7 FG.
- So this is my third year being a season-ticket-holder, and I’ve successfully avoided being shown on the scoreboard bigscreen. But tonight, I attended the game with Cardboard Gerald, and my streak was ended during the first possible break in the first quarter. Such is the power of Cardboard Gerald.
- One of the LadyCats’ hair extensions fell out while she was dancing. I can cross that one off my Bucket List now.
- The Bobcats are headed to Milwaukee for the second night of another back-to-back — 9PM ET start Saturday night.