The Bobcats entered the home of the defending Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder on October 16, 2012 and had them on their heels in the first half before eventually falling, 120-98, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Charlotte started the game 2 of 12 from the field and found itself in an early hole but was able to recover by hitting 19 of its next 35 shots (54 percent) and entered the locker room down 57-53… The key for the Cats in the first half was ball control, as they turned it over just twice in 24 minutes, leading to only four Thunder points… As careful as the Bobcats were in the first half, they could not keep a handle on the rock in the third quarter, committing six turnovers leading to 10 Oklahoma City points and getting outscored 24-14 in the frame as the Thunder took control of the game… Led by rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte held Kevin Durant in check in the first half. Durant managed five points on 2-of-8 shooting before the break but sparked the Thunder run in the third with eight points in eight minutes.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Thunder were on fire from the field in this one, connecting on 64.0 percent (48 of 75) of their shots from the field and 53.3 percent (8 of 15) from 3-point range… Charlotte finished 36 of 81 (44.4 percent) from the field and 8 of 25 (32.0 percent) from long range… After turning it over just twice in the first half, the Cats coughed it up nine times in the second half leading to 16 points off turnovers for OKC.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ramon Sessions stepped into the starting lineup and scored 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting while dishing out seven assists to go with four rebounds and one steal.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Ben Gordon led all scorers with 21 points, including three 3-pointers in 25 minutes off the bench. Gordon added four assists and swiped two steals.
THUNDER PLAYER OF THE GAME
Serge Ibaka controlled the paint for Oklahoma City, scoring 16 points, bringing down 10 rebounds and blocking two shots.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
“We put a good half together, on defending Western Conference Champs. We put a good half together, but we have to make it where we put two halves together. Take a lot from that first half and just learn from that second half.”
- Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions on what the Cats can build on
“There are some things that he did really well on the offensive side of the ball but there are other expectations for Byron such as rebounding and taking care of the pick and roll game for us and quite frankly he is going to get nothing but better. And he is learning on the fly. And to have an experience like he did against OKC tonight did a lot of positives.”
- Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on Byron Mullens
Byron Mullens NBA career began in Oklahoma City, and he impressed in his return, finishing with 16 points, including four 3-pointers… Mullens and Ben Gordon are the only Bobcats to reach double-digit scoring in all four preseason games this season… Gordon became the first Cat to break 20 points in the preseason, finishing with 21 points… Mullens and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are the only two Bobcats who have been in the starting lineup in the first four preseason games… Kemba Walker was given a rest and did not play against the Thunder.
The Cats return to Charlotte for a few practice days before heading out to Detroit to take on the Pistons at 7:30 p.m. on October 20, 2012 from The Palace of Auburn Hills. Make sure to join the live chat on bobcats.com.