Al Jefferson scored a game-high 28 points and Kemba Walker notched a double-double (20 points, 14 assists) to lead the Cats to their sixth-straight win at Time Warner Cable Arena, 101-92, on March 7 over Cleveland.
Credit Head Coach Steve Clifford for knowing exactly when to insert his starters back into the game in the fourth quarter. After entering the final frame up, 76-74, Clifford opted to keep starters Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker out until the 7:55 mark of the fourth when Dion Waiters connected on two free throws to give Cleveland an 81-80 lead. The insertion of Walker and Jefferson back into the starting lineup paid huge dividends as they combined for 18 of the Cats final 21 points, led by 12 in the fourth from Walker. Cleveland cut the lead to as little as 95-90 late but Walker (8-for-8) and Jefferson (2-for-2) were also perfect from the charity stripe in the fourth to help ice the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Cats started a scorching 63.2 percent (12-for-19) from the field in first quarter as seven players got on the scoreboard. The key early on was great ball movement, as Charlotte had 11 assists on 12 made baskets in the opening stanza and built a 32-25 lead… Charlotte finished the game outshooting the Cavs, 46.8 percent (36-for-77) to 43.0 percent (37-for-86) from the field, 31.0 percent (9-for-29) to 17.6 percent (3-for-17) from three-point range and 90.9 percent (20-for-22) to 75.0 percent (15-for-20) from the charity stripe… Charlotte attempted a season-high 29 three-pointers, passing the 27 attempts it had twice previously this season. With the win, the Cats won the season series (up 3-0 with one game to play) for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Charlotte now holds playoff tiebreakers over Cleveland and Detroit… This was Al Jefferson’s first game as a Bobcat against the Cavaliers. He missed the previous two games against Cleveland with a sprained ankle. With his 28 points, Jefferson has scored 20 or more points in 22 of his last 25 games… Chris Douglas-Roberts (14 points) scored in double digits for the third-straight game and seventh time this season. It is the first time since Dec. 2010 that CDR has had three-consecutive double-digit scoring games. His four three-pointers made tied a career high.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker posted his fifth double-double of the year with 20 points and a game-high 14 assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes. Walker scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. He also helped hold All Star Kyrie Irving to 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting and swiped two steals.
CAVS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dion Waiters came off the bench and scored a team-high-tying 19 points while hauling down five rebounds and adding three steals in 32 minutes. Waiters also did not turn the ball over.
With victories over Dallas, Detroit, New Orleans, Memphis, Indiana and Cleveland, the Bobcats have won six-straight home games, recording the first six-game home win streak since March 5-27, 2010 (seven games). The Bobcats have topped the 100-point plateau in four of those six games, including a season-high-tying 116 points on Feb. 19 against Detroit and are averaging 103.6 points and 26.7 assists over the six-game span… With 101-92 victory, the Cats improve to 9-1 when they score at least 100 points at home… The Bobcats have won 29 games so far this season, passing the last two season’s win totals combined (28) with 17 of those wins at home, surpassing their total of home victories from last season (15)… With 28 wins through 61 games, Bobcats Head Coach Steve Clifford has the most victories by any Bobcats head coach over his first 61 games with the team… Entering Friday’s game, the Bobcats were giving up only 97.3 points per game, which is the fifth-lowest average in the NBA. They have held their opponent under 100 points in 40 of their 62 games this season, which is the third-most such games in the NBA. The Bobcats held 13 straight opponents under 100 points from Nov. 13-Dec. 6, which tied the second-longest streak in franchise history and tied the longest streak in the NBA this season, set by the Spurs from Nov. 5-29.
The Cats are in store for a quick turnaround as they’ll board a plane for Memphis before tipping off against the Grizzlies at 8 p.m. on March 8. 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.