Kemba Walker recorded the second triple-double of his career (13 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) and Al Jefferson posted his third-straight double-double (29 points, 16 rebounds) as the Cats reached the .500 mark (38-38), defeating Orlando, 91-80, on April 4 at Time Warner Cable Arena for their third-straight win.
After a fairly tight first quarter, the Cats turned up the intensity in the second behind Al Jefferson’s 21-point, 11-rebound first half. Charlotte went on an 18-1 run to grab its biggest lead of the night (21) and went into the half with 53-36 advantage. Orlando would battle back and whittle Charlotte’s lead to nine behind Victor Oladipo’s 17 second-half points, but the Cats made key buckets down the stretch to secure the victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
With Nikola Vucevic sidelined for the Magic, the Cats were able to take advantage inside. A total of 20 of Charlotte’s 33 field goals came in the paint as the Cats outscored the Magic, 40-36 , there, outrebounded them, 46-43, and were able to score 19 points on second-chance opportunities to Orlando’s 11… Neither team shot particularly well from the floor, but the Cats were able to outshoot the Magic from the field (42.3 percent to 35.6 percent) and from beyond the arc (37.5 percent to 27.3 ). Orlando shot a slightly better percentage from the stripe (83.3 percent) than Charlotte (82.6), but the Cats got to the line 19 times, compared 18 for the Magic. The Cats have now shot more free throw attempts than their opponent in 32 of their 38 victories this season… After scoring a season-high 60 points against Philadelphia Apr. 2, the Cats bench was outscored, 49-34, thanks to Victor Oladipo’s 21 points for the Magic.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
With 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, Kemba Walker recorded his first triple-double of the season, second of his career (Jan. 12, 2012 vs. Washington) and fourth in franchise history. Walker has now scored in double figures in 12 of his last 16 games for the Cats.
MAGIC PLAYER OF THE GAME
The Cats saw another impressive game from a rookie. After facing Michael Carter-Williams on Apr. 2, Victor Oladipo shined against Charlotte putting up a team-high 21 points, six rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes off the bench for Orlando.
With the victory, the Cats improve to .500 for the first time since they were 7-7 on Nov. 23… Charlotte is now 4-1 in its last five games and 12-2 in its last 14 games… With 29 points and 16 boards, Al Jefferson put up his 24th game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season. Jefferson also tallied his 36th double-double of the season including seven in his last nine games... Anthony Tolliver received significant minutes off the bench with Josh McRoberts inactive again with a left ankle sprain. Tolliver went 4-for-7 from three to lead the bench with 13 points, notching double-figures for the 15th times this season… Gary Neal also had a productive game off the bench, scoring 12 points for his 11th double figure scoring game this season… The Cats held the Magic to 80 points, the team has now held their opponent under 100 points for the 50th time this season, fourth-most such games in the NBA… Magic center Nikola Vucevic suited up, but did not play for Orlando with a sore left achilles.
The Cats have a quick turnaround as they will travel to Cleveland for the second game of a back-to-back on April 5 against the Cavaliers. Listen live on WFNZ 610 am, the official Bobcats App presented by Walgreens or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.