Kemba Walker knocked down his second-career, game-winning shot and sent the Cats to a 104-102 overtime victory on Dec. 18 in Toronto. Walker finished with a team-high 29 points, including four three-pointers, while also swiping three steals as Charlotte rallied from 16 points down to take their second-straight win.
In a game filled with turning points, it was ultimately the final 11.3 seconds in overtime that decided the contest. Kemba Walker went to the line with 11.3 seconds left in overtime and the Cats up, 102-101, but was short on both free-throw attempts. Clinging to a one-point lead, Gerald Henderson was whistled for a foul on DeMar DeRozan with 1.0 second remaining. DeRozan returned the favor and missed the first but hit the second to tie it, 102-102. With Josh McRoberts inbounding, Al Jefferson set a screen for Walker at the free-throw line that he rolled around and freed himself from Kyle Lowry. With Lowry chasing, Walker headed toward the left baseline and McRoberts found Walker, who was able to catch the inbounds pass on the run and knock down the game winner from the left side, sending the Cats to a 104-102 overtime win.
"Coach drew up an excellent play and we executed it to perfection," Walker said of the game's final play. "We had guys going everywhere and I got open – I was just happy to make the shot. I told Josh to give me the basketball and he found me."
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte took an 18-15 lead after the first quarter but was outscored, 32-19, in the second as the Raptors built their lead to as many as 16 points. Led by 11 points from Kemba Walker in the third, the Cats were able to rally, outscoring Toronto, 33-23, in the frame to tie things, 70-70, heading to the fourth. The score remained tied, 86-86, with 3:46 remaining in regulation but neither team was able to gain more than a three-point advantage the rest of the way towards the dramatic finish… Charlotte knocked down eight three-pointers for the second-straight contest, finishing 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) from long range, led by four treys from Walker… Four starters – Walker (29), Al Jefferson (24), Josh McRoberts (13) and Gerald Henderson (11) – finished in double-digit scoring. Ramon Sessions led the Cats reserves with 11 points and three assists, while Anthony Tolliver added 10 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes.
"(Tolliver) was awesome tonight," Walker said of his teammate's performance. "He did some great things. He's always ready when coach calls his name. It showed tonight."
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker scored a team-high 29 points, including the second game winner of his career to send the Cats to victory. Walker hit a stepback jumper with 0.7 seconds left in Minnesota on Nov. 14, 2012 to give Charlotte an 89-87 win. This is also the fifth time in Walker’s career with at least three-consecutive games of 20 points or more. He has had two previous four-game streaks and two previous three-game streaks. Walker also knocked down four three-pointers, marking his second-straight game with at least four three-pointers for the second time in his career (previously on March 20 and 22, 2013).
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan pumped in 30 points for Toronto while hauling down six rebounds, grabbing three steals and blocking a shot.
Charlotte fell behind, 61-45, early in the third quarter but rallied to outscore the Raptors, 25-9, the rest of the frame keyed by 11 points from Kemba Walker and back-to-back three-pointers from Anthony Tolliver off the bench.
"When times get tough, we always draw closer," said Walker of the Cats comeback. "That's what good teams do. We were down early in this game, but we came together and were able to come out with a huge win."
Walker has now scored in double figures in 23 of 26 contests this season, including 11 games with 20 points or more… Al Jefferson recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 24 points and 11 rebounds. It was Jefferson's sixth double-double in his last 10 games. In the other four games, Jefferson has finished with nine rebounds. He is averaging 16.2 points and 10.7 rebounds in this recent stretch.
The Cats now travel to take on the Pistons at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 in Detroit. Listen live on WFNZ 610am, the official Bobcats app or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.