Al Jefferson recorded his seventh 30+point game (33 points) in his last 11 contests, helping the Cats escape with a 90-87 victory over New Orleans on Feb. 21 at Time Warner Cable Arena. With the victory, Charlotte has won three-straight and four of its last five games, improving its record to 26-30 and moving into the No. 7 spot in the NBA Eastern Conference playoff race.
With the game going down to the wire, the Cats clung to an 88-87 lead. Kemba Walker was fouled with 4.4 seconds remaining in the game and was able to convert on both attempts, giving the Cats a three-point cushion. On the other end, Josh McRoberts was able to strip the ball from Eric Gordon as he attempted to get up the floor, sealing the tight victory for the Cats.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte was able to control the inside game despite the looming presence of Anthony Davis. The Cats led the Pelicans in rebounds (47-38), points in the paint (36-34) and second-chance points (23-15)… New Orleans shot better from the field (42.2 percent) and from long distance (39.1 percent) than Charlotte (38.8 percent and 20.0 percent)… The Cats were able to remedy their poor shooting performance by getting to the line 36 times, converting on 25 attempts (69.4 percent). The Pelicans did shoot a better percentage from the stripe (72.4 percent), but were only sent to the foul line 11 times. Charlotte has now attempted more free throws than its opponent in 24 of its 26 victories this season.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Al Jefferson handled business yet again for Charlotte, leading the way with a game-high 33 points on 14-for-30 shooting and 10 rebounds for his 25th double-double this season. Jefferson has now hit the double-double mark 19 times in his last 31 games played.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Before fouling out of the game in the crucial final seconds, Anthony Davis showed why he was an All-Star in just his second season. He finished with 18 points and a team-high 13 rebounds in 34 minutes for New Orleans.
Charlotte has now drawn even in the season series with its former franchise 1-1… The Cats are now 11-6 in the first game of a back-to-back this season… Al Jefferson now has seven 30-point games since Jan. 25, which is tied for most in the NBA with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love… Cody Zeller continues his improvement, scoring a career-high 13 points of the bench… The 32 points scored by the Pelicans in the first half was the lowest surrendered by the Cats all season… Anthony Tolliver went a perfect 3-for-3 behind the three-point line, finishing with nine points. Coming into the game, he was ranked eighth in the NBA in three-point percentage (.429)… The Cats held their opponent below 100 points for the 36th time this season. Charlotte ranks fifth in the NBA allowing 97.1 points per game to its opponents.
The Cats will welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to Charlotte for the first time this season on Feb. 22 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Listen live on WFNZ 610 am, the official Bobcats app or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.