By Jace Darling, bobcats.com
February 4, 2014
February 4, 2014
The last time these two teams faced off on Dec. 9, 2013 at Time Warner Cable Arena, the game was an instant classic as the two starting point guards provided a matchup for the ages. Kemba Walker scored 27 of his team-high 31 points in the second half, 15 of which were in the final stanza, and Stephen Curry scored a game-high 43 points in his Charlotte homecoming. Kemba Walker is still listed as questionable for the game but has practiced as of late and is hoping to be available for tonight’s contest. If Walker can go, his string of seven missed games due to his ankle injury – the first seven of his NBA career – will come to an end. If Walker is unable to go, the Bobcats will again turn to Ramon Sessions in the starting lineup with Jannero Pargo coming off the bench. The Cats are 4-3 since Walker suffered a left ankle sprain on Jan. 18 against Miami, with wins over the Raptors, Clippers, Nuggets and Lakers. Ramon Sessions has started all seven games in Walker’s absence and is averaging 12.7 points and 6.4 assists… Curry currently leads the NBA in 30-point/10-assist games with six and 20-point/10-assist games with 12 and is the first Warrior to post at least six 30-point/10-assist games in a single season since Tim Hardaway (eight) did so in 1992-93. Curry is on pace to become the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 23 points, nine assists and four rebounds in a season, joining Hall of Famers Jerry West, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
Tuesday marks the end of the Cats most recent four-game West Coast road trip (2-1). With Kemba Walker’s injury, all eyes have been on the man in the middle, Al Jefferson. In 16 games in January, Jefferson averaged 23.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 block in 35.6 minutes while shooting .537 (169-for-315) from the field and .710 (44-for-62) from the free-throw line. Jefferson posted nine double-doubles, eight games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, four games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds and two games with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds. He set Bobcats franchise records and career bests of 11 straight 20-point games (Jan. 11-31), three straight 30-point games (Jan. 25-31), four straight 20-point and 10-rebound games (Jan. 17-22, tied franchise record) and three straight 30-10 games (Jan. 25-31)… One constant the Bobcats have been able to rely on this season has been the solid play of Gerald Henderson. Henderson is averaging 15.6 points on .441 shooting (115-for-261), including .360 from beyond the three-point line (9-for-25), over his last 20 games. Henderson is also one of only eight guards in the NBA that have started all their team’s games this year… Josh McRoberts has been playing well as of late, especially from beyond-the-arc. McRoberts is shooting 21-for-40 from three-point range (52.5 percent) over his last 10 games… With the Jan. 31 win over the Lakers, the Bobcats matched their total number of wins from last season… Entering tonight’s action, the Bobcats are giving up only 97.4 points per game, which is the sixth-lowest average in the NBA. In addition, the Bobcats are giving up the fewest fast break points (10.1) and the third-fewest points in the paint (37.5). They have held their opponent under 100 points in 31 of their 49 games this season, which is the third-most such games in the NBA… The Bobcats are averaging 25.1 free throw attempts per game and have attempted more free throws than their opponent in 33 of their 49 contests this season. They have attempted more free throws than their opponent in 19 of their 21 victories this season and are 19-14 when doing so… Twelve of the Bobcats 21 victories this season have been decided by six points or fewer and have the most wins in the NBA in games decided by six points or less.
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS
Stephen Curry holds a career average of 27.9 points against Charlotte, his best against any single opponent, shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 53.4 percent from three-point land… Golden State’s starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee and Andrew Bogut are 23-9 together, the third-best starting five in Warriors history since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970-71 (min. 20 games played)… The Warriors have also held 14 opponents to fewer than 90 points this season, their most since 2005-06 (18). The Warriors are 22-3 this season when holding their opposition to below 100 points… Not unlike the Bobcats, the Warriors have had their fair share of close games. The Warriors have played in more games decided by four points-or-fewer than any team in the NBA (18), going 8-10 in those contests… The Warriors’ current home sellout streak, which dates back to December 18, 2012, has continued into the 2013-14 season. Entering tonight’s game, the Warriors have sold out 60 consecutive home games at Oracle Arena… Golden State will be sending six players to All-Star Weekend in New Orleans on Feb 14-16. Joining Curry are Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Klay Thompson, which was tops in the Western Conference and tied with the Indiana Pacers for most in the league.
This game can be seen on Fox SportSouth or NBA League Pass or you can listen live on bobcats.com, the Bobcats app or WFNZ 610 am.