Kemba Walker scored a career-high 35 points but the Bobcats did not have enough left in the fourth quarter and fell to the Rockets, 100-94, in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee on January 21 at Time Warner Cable Arena®. The Cats were outscored 26-13 in the final frame as Houston escaped with the win.
The Bobcats jumped on the Rockets behind eight points from Gerald Henderson and seven more from Jeffery Taylor to take a 30-22 lead at they end of the first quarter… Charlotte pushed the lead to 56-45 at the halftime break and fought off a Rockets push in the third to take an 81-74 lead into the fourth… After combining for 41 points in the first three quarters of play, the Rockets put the pressure on Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions in the fourth, holding them to seven and six points, respectively. With Walker and Sessions slowed in the fourth, the Cats needed another scoring option but Houston was able to hold the rest of Charlotte’s players in check as they closed out the game by outscoring the Bobcats 26-13 in the final 12 minutes.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Bobcats outshot Houston, 42.0 percent (34-for-81) to 39.2 percent (29-for-74) from the field, but the Rockets held a 37.5 percent (6-for-16) to 21.2 percent (4-for-19) advantage in the decisive final frame… Charlotte beat Houston in points in the paint (38-30) and second-chance points (6-5)… Defensively the Cats forced the Rockets into 13 turnovers, blocked 10 shots – including a game-high seven from Bismack Biyombo – and grabbed five steals.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker set a new career high with 35 points, almost a third of the Cats total points. Walker stood at 12-for-21 shooting and had five assists, three rebounds and a steal.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Ramon Sessions proved to vital for the Cats off the bench as the second-leading scorer at 19 points on 6-for-15 shooting. Sessions also grabbed eight rebounds and had five assists. In the final seconds, Sessions tried for several 3-pointers, but with high pressure from the Rockets defense, he was unable to bring the Cats back.
ROCKETS PLAYER OF THE GAME
James Harden was a force on the court as he led the Rockets with 29 points, including 19 points from the free-throw line. Harden contributed seven assists, seven rebounds and grabbed two steals.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
"It’s tough man. We’re trying our hardest to win these games, but you know it’s just not working out for us right now. We still have so much basketball left so hopefully things are going to start looking out for us and I think they will."
- Bobcats guard Kemba Walker on the team’s struggles in the fourth quarter
"The development of Kemba continues. We targeted him early in the season and everything is double what it was last year. He’s a sophomore in the league. His promise as a future star in this league is high, and as he matures and takes responsibility with his voice for our entire team he’s going to be an All-Star. I said that from the beginning and statistically he’s showing that."
- Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on Kemba Walker’s career-high 35 points
Three Cats players scored in double figures. Kemba Walker set a new career high with 35 points, Ramon Sessions scored 19 and Hakim Warrick added 10… Bismack Biyombo tied his career high with seven blocks. It was the third time Biyombo has blocked seven shots in a game… Jeffery Taylor left the game with a left quad strain but was able to return. He finished with seven points, two assists and two steals… Byron Mullens remained inactive with an ankle injury.
The Bobcats host their next two games against Atlanta and Minnesota at Time Warner Cable Arena® before traveling to Chicago on January 28. The Cats tip off against the Hawks at 7 p.m. on January 23 before facing the Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. on January 26. Catch the games on Fox SportsSouth or listen on WFNZ. Download the Bobcats app or go to bobcats.com to follow the live in-game chat.