Led by 26 points from Al Jefferson and 25 more from Kemba Walker, Charlotte’s comeback Cats did it again on Dec. 23 at Time Warner Cable Arena, rallying from an 18-point deficit to take a 111-110 overtime victory over Milwaukee. It was the third time in four games the Cats have erased an opposing lead of 16-or-more points. They also rallied from a 20-point deficit on Dec. 20 in Detroit two nights after coming back from 16 down on Dec. 18 in Toronto and winning in overtime.
Much like the win in Toronto, this one came down to the final moments in regulation and last seconds in overtime. After Kemba Walker’s floater with 16.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter put Charlotte up, 101-98, the Bucks responded on an O.J. Mayo three-pointer from the right side with 1.0 seconds remaining. Al Jefferson tried to draw a foul on John Henson after catching the inbounds pass but time expired, sending this one to overtime… Neither team built a lead larger than three points in the extra session, but the Cats took the lead for good when Jefferson hit one of two free throws with 1:40 remaining in OT to put Charlotte up, 109-108. The teams traded misses over the final minute and a half until Khris Middleton’s jumper with 2.9 seconds left missed the mark and Walker was able to grab the rebound, was fouled and hit both free throws with 1.6 ticks remaining. Middleton had a chance to force a second overtime but his feet were over the line on what looked to be a baseline three-pointer from the right side and Charlotte took the one-point win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Cats got off to a slow start, connecting on just 24.0 percent (6-for-25) of their field goals in the first frame, losing the rebounding battle, 19-9, and finding themselves in a 33-17 hole after 12 minutes of play. Charlotte bounced back in the second quarter though, outscoring Milwaukee, 35-21, and entered the halftime break down, 54-52. After the first quarter, the Cats outscored Milwaukee, 94-77, the rest of the way on 50.0 percent shooting (37-for-74) from the field while outrebounding the Bucks, 34-32… Charlotte closed the first half on a 13-2 run and sliced a 13-point deficit to just two points… Both teams connected on 10 three-pointers in the game, but the Cats were more efficient, finishing 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) from long range. The Bucks went 10-for-28 (35.7 percent) from beyond the arc.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker notched his second double-double of the season, finishing with 25 points and 10 assists, and nearly recorded his second-career triple-double, finishing with nine rebounds. Walker scored seven of Charlotte’s 10 points in overtime to help lead the Cats to the win.
BUCKS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brandon Knight scored a game-high-tying 26 points to go along with a career-high 14 assists in the losing effort. He also added eight rebounds.
Cody Zeller had his best game as a pro, finishing with a career-high 12 points to go with a career-high four assists in 22 minutes of play. He added seven rebounds and two blocked shots and continues to elevate his game in the Cats rotation… With 25 points against Milwaukee, Kemba Walker has scored 20 points or more in six-consecutive games, the longest streak of his career. Walker has scored in double figures in 18 straight games, tying the longest streak of his career… Al Jefferson came up one rebound shy (26 points, nine rebounds) of posting four straight double-doubles and nine in his last 13 games. Jefferson has now scored in double figures in 16-consecutive games… Gerald Henderson’s run of 19-straight games in double-digit scoring came to an end with eight points against the Bucks… Anthony Tolliver was a perfect 4-for-4 from long range against Milwaukee and has now connected on 21 three-pointers this season. He only has four buckets as a Bobcat that were not from long range.
The Bobcats will get two days off before returning to practice on Dec. 26 to get ready for a 7 p.m. tipoff against Oklahoma City on Dec. 27 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Make sure to catch the game on SportSouth or listen live on WFNZ, bobcats.com or the Bobcats app.