The Bobcats fell an early hole against the Miami Heat but closed the gap to two points late in the fourth quarter before eventually falling, 105-92, in Wednesday Night Basketball on December 26 at Time Warner Cable Arena®. The Cats were led by Kemba Walker with 27 points and six assists, while Hakim Warrick poured in 18 points and nine rebounds in his first start as a Bobcat.
The Bobcats fell behind early as the Heat came out to an explosive 13-2 lead to start the game. The Cats did their best to battle back from the deficit, but were down by mostly double digits in the second quarter… In the third quarter, Charlotte cut the lead to eight points on two separate occasions and finished the third quarter only down by seven after Ramon Sessions hit two free throws… Every time the Bobcats cut into the lead, the Heat answered with a 3-pointer… In the fourth quarter, Hakim Warrick cut it to four on a baseline jumper. The Bobcats got the defensive stop on the other end and Gerald Henderson converted on a three-point play, making it a two-point game... A couple of long-range threes by the Heat pushed the lead back up to 10 and the Cats couldn’t find an answer.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The numbers in this contest show two teams evenly matched… Both teams scored 40 points in the paint, while the Bobcats held the Heat to only eight in the second half. Both teams finished with 17 fast-break points and both had 14 second-chance points… The Bobcats defense did a nice job forcing shots, the Heat shot under their season average (.497), only connecting on 45.7 percent… The two areas that may have cost the Cats a win are turnovers and free throw shooting. Charlotte committed 17 turnovers and went 19-for-28 (67.9 percent) from the line.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker continues to impress in front of the home crowd. Walker finished with a team-high 27 points, including 4-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc to go with six assists, six rebounds and two steals.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Ramon Sessions scored 19 of the bench’s 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Sessions added five assists and a rebound while only turning the ball over once.
HEAT PLAYER OF THE GAME
LeBron James proved why he’s the reigning MVP. James had a stellar first half, scoring 16 in the first two quarters. He finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and two blocks.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
"I thought we played well in the second half. We really got after it, played hard. We played the way we played early in the season. If we keep that up, I think we will be fine."
- Bobcats Guard Kemba Walker on the team’s comeback in the second half
"I told my guys they will only give you one chance, and we reeled them back in and then just kind of hung around. If you look at our seven wins, that’s how we’ve won. We haven’t just whipped anybody, we’ve barely won in all of those seven games. This game had that same kind of feel to it."
- Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on the team’s comeback in the second half
With Byron Mullens out due to a sprained ankle suffered against the Nuggets, forward Hakim Warrick got his first start as a Bobcat. Warrick almost managed a double-double, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds… Big man Bismack Biyombo had 10 rebounds, including game-high four offensive boards along with seven points and a block… Gerald Henderson was one of the four Bobcats to finish in double-figure scoring. He had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block… Ben Gordon (right knee discomfort) and Tyrus Thomas (calf) were both out with their respective injuries.
The Bobcats travel to New York to take on the Brooklyn Nets at 7 p.m. on December 28 before returning home to play the New Orleans Hornets at 7 p.m. on December 29 at Time Warner Cable Arena®. You can watch both games on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Download the Bobcats app on your smartphone or go to bobcats.com to follow the live in-game chat.