(Courtesy Steve Yeater – AP)
Happy 29th Birthday Big Al!
· Game Breakdown
Wrapping up a road trip is never easy to do when you’ve lost the previous 3 games, and it can be even more difficult when the opposing power forward is Demarcus Cousins. Even still, the Cats found a way to victory behind Kemba’s awesome shooting, Big Al doing what he does best, and a very solid night from behind the 3pt line.
The game opened up with both teams really trying to figure each other out. As the 1st quarter came to a quick 22-all tie, it was obvious that the teams were very well matched. Each team had a versatile big-man who commanded attention in the post, and chances were that if one of them got hot, we could have a very tight game on our hands. The Cats got a very solid quarter from Big Al, as he hit 4-6 shots to anchor his team. Many of these opportunities were coming from all around the paint, as Al was looking and taking any open mid-range shots along with his standard collection of post-moves. By the end of the quarter, the Cats found themselves up 32-27, and things started to look good for the night.
As the 2nd quarter went on, The Cats had to ensure that they were not going to give up their lead. Sacramento had begun battling back as Jason Thompson and Rudy Gay began to hit more and more shots, and the Bobcats defense was giving up many mid-range jump shots from those two. The pair would go on to combine for 9-11 from the field in the quarter, and they even got their team a quick 46-45 lead in the quarter. Kemba started to heat up, and soon enough, the Cats were back on top with a 65-57 lead heading into halftime.
The remainder of the game was honestly the Kemba Walker Show. Kemba went off to go 7-10 in the second half, and did a good job of spacing out the floor for his teammates. Kemba even hit a few threes, which is always a good thing when you consider that Charlotte is possibly the worst 3pt shooting team in the entire NBA. Kemba also ended the night dishing out 6 assists, mostly thanks to Al Jefferson’s work on the block.
Overall, it was a very solid night from the Cats. It was good to see them finally rebound from such awful games against Portland and LA, and to get this win with their tough defense. Kemba’s playmaking ability, and Big Al’s touch around the rim, was just a very solid win for the Cats. One that I hope they look to build on as they come back home to face Washington.
The Cats are now 15-20 on the season. Good for 7th in the East.
· Stat of the Night
Sacramento – 35%
Charlotte – 60%
As the worst 3pt shooting team in the league, it’s always a good thing when you outshoot your opponent. This was critical, as the Kings tend to live or die by their ability to shoot 3s, and tonight, the Cats did a great job of denying them the opportunity to run amuck.
· Player of the Night
Kembaaaaaaaaaa Walllllllllllker! – 30pts, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. We got solid production from one of the main cogs in our offense. Now, if only he’d be more consistent…