Led by Al Jefferson’s fourth-straight double-double (24 points, 15 rebounds) and 20 points from Kemba Walker, the Cats clinched their second playoff berth in franchise history as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime, 96-94 on April 5.
Tied at 82 in the final seconds of regulation, Kemba Walker missed a 23-foot, contested jump shot to win the game, sending it to overtime. The Cavs led in the overtime period until the 1:08 mark. Walker found Gerald Henderson on the perimeter, who pump faked and took two dribbles to the baseline and drilled the fadeaway jumper to give the Cats a 90-89 lead. Charlotte would lead the rest of the way, hitting crucial free throws in crunch time to hang on to the two-point victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Both teams struggled on the offensive end, however the Cats shot a slightly better percentage from the field (37.4 percent) and from three (34.6 percent) than the Cavs (36.5, 31.8 percent)… Both teams were even in paint scoring with 34, but Charlotte controlled the post by outrebounding Cleveland 58-51 (12-10 offensive rebounds), outworking the Cavs 17-10 in second chance points and blocked shots 5-3… The Cats (12) had more turnovers than the Cavs (11), but Charlotte were able to capitalize on Cleveland’s mistakes scoring 15 points off turnovers to 6 for the Cavaliers… Charlotte saw four of five starters in double figures – Al Jefferson (24), Kemba Walker (20), Gerald Henderson (15) and Cody Zeller (12).
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Al Jefferson quietly put up another solid performance for the Cats, scoring a team-high 24 points, hauling down 15 rebounds and dishing out four assists. Jefferson now has eight double-doubles in his last 10 games and 37 on the season.
CAVALIERS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyrie Irving did everything possible to keep the Cavs in this one, but it wasn’t enough. He scored a career-high 44 points, adding eight assits and seven rebounds in 42 minutes of action.
With the victory, the Cats improve have clinched their second playoff berth in franchise history, the other coming in the 2009-10 season… Charlotte has won four-straight games, five of their last six and are now one game behind the Washington Wizards for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference… Cody Zeller continues to thrive in the starting lineup. With 12 points and 11 rebounds, Zeller recorded his first career double-double. 11 rebounds is a career-high for Zeller as well... The Cats improve to 13-4 on the season when Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each score 20 or more points… Charlotte had six more free throw attempts than Cleveland, marking the 33rd victory this season in which the team has done so.
After a couple days off, the Cats will head to the nation’s capital to battle the Washington Wizards on April 9. Listen live on WFNZ 610 am, the official Bobcats App presented by Walgreens or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.