The Bobcats organization unveiled its Hornets Brand Identity at halftime against Utah on Dec. 21 but could not come away with the victory, falling 88-85, to the Jazz at Time Warner Cable Arena. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 20 points, while Al Jefferson added his ninth double-double of the season, finishing with 19 points and 11 rebounds as Utah snapped Charlotte’s three-game winning streak.
After taking a 46-42 lead at the half, the Jazz went on to outscore the cats 28-20 in the third quarter led by eight points apiece from Derrick Favors and Richard Jefferson. Charlotte battled its way back into the game on an 11-2 run to tie the game, 83-83, led by seven points from Al Jefferson. But 10 points from Trey Burke in the fourth quarter would stifle any momentum the Bobcats could put together, including knocking a down a clutch three-point shot with 2:38 left in the fourth that would extend the Jazz lead, 86-83. The Cats got two good looks at the basket by Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson as time expired, but neither shot found its way in to force overtime.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte finished the game shooting 43.4 percent (36-for-83), compared to the Jazz 38.6 percent (32-for-83) from the floor...The biggest difference came in three-point shooting, where the Jazz connected on 47.6 percent (10-for-21), while the Cats shot just 16.7 percent (2-for-12) from long range… Ball security played a huge role in this one, as Charlotte turned it over 12 times, leading to 14 Jazz points. Utah turned it over nine times, which the Cats only turned into eight points… The Cats held the advantage in the paint, outrebounding the Jazz, 50-44, while outscoring Utah, 44-32, in the paint… Charlotte finished with four players in double figures – Kemba Walker (20), Al Jefferson (19), Ramon Sessions (13) and Gerald Henderson (12).
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker led the way for the Cats with 20 points on 56 percent (9-for-16) shooting from the floor and 50 percent (1-for2) shooting from long range. He scored in double figures for the 19th consecutive game and 26th time this season, including 13 games with 20 points or more.
JAZZ PLAYER OF THE GAME
Trey Burke finished with a team-high 20 points on 43 percent (7-for-16) shooting from the floor and 50 percent (4-for-8) shooting from long range. He also added four assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes.
After holding the Jazz to 85 points, the Bobcats have held their opponent under 100 points in 22 of their 28 games this season, which is tied for the second-most such games in the NBA. Also Entering tonight’s action, the Bobcats are giving up only 93.1 points per game, which remains the second-lowest average in the NBA… With Friday’s victory in Detroit, the Bobcats posted their first three-game winning streak since April 13-17, 2013. The Bobcats topped the 100-point plateau in two of the three games and are averaging 105.0 points during the stretch. The team’ s last four-game winning streak took place March 25-30, 2011… The Bobcats came back from a 20-point deficit and after trailing by 18 points with under a minute remaining in the third quarter in last night’s win at Detroit, one game after overcoming a 16-point second-half deficit to beat Toronto in overtime on Wednesday. The Bobcats became the first NBA team to overcome deficits of at least 16 points in the second half to win in consecutive games since Utah did so in three straight games from Nov. 6- 10, 2010… Walker scored a season-high 34 points in Friday’s win at Detroit, recording his fourth consecutive game with 20 points or more. The four- game streak ties the longest of his career and is tied for the fourth-longest current streak in the NBA. During the four-game stretch, Walker is averaging 27.8 points, while shooting .639 from the field (39-61), .524 from beyond the three-point line (11-21) and .880 from the free-throw line (22- 25).
Charlotte will play host to the Milwaukee Bucks at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Listen live on WFNZ 610am or bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on FoxSportSouth and NBA League Pass.