Al Jefferson was the leading scorer for the Cats with another 20-point game (25 points), but the Cats lost their second-consecutive game after winning four-straight after the All-Star break, 116-99, to the Thunder on March 2 in Oklahoma City. Anthony Tolliver chipped in 17 points off the bench for the Cats in the defeat.
The Cats hung around with the high-scoring Thunder and closed the lead to just two with 9:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, Oklahoma City began to pull ahead as the Bobcats coughed up some costly turnovers (eight in the quarter). The Thunder closed out the fourth on a 28-15 run from that point to put Charlotte away for good.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Thunder led the Cats in overall field goal percentage (50.4 percent) and free throw percentage (86.7 percent), but it was the team’s dominance inside that was a major factor in the game. Oklahoma City bullied their way down low, scoring more points in the paint (50-32), outrebounding (44-29) and outhustling Charlotte, winning the battle in second-chance points (19-3)… The Cats were able to get to the foul line more frequently than the Thunder (40-30), and saw a larger amount of scoring production from its bench with 52 points, compared to 39 for the Thunder… Lastly, the Cats who averaged a league-best 12.53 turnovers a game coming into this one, posted 18 turnovers, which were converted into 25 points for Oklahoma City.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Al Jefferson was the strong again for the Cats finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jefferson has hit the 20-point mark for the 26th time this season and 19th time in his last 22 games.
THUNDER PLAYER OF THE GAME
MVP frontrunner Kevin Durant showed why he’s deserving of the award, posting a game-high 28 points while collecting six rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes of action for Oklahoma City.
The Cats have now lost seven-straight games at the hands of the Thunder… Kemba Walker has struggled in his last two games since being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. He has scored a combined 17 points on 6-for-28 shooting (21.4 percent) in those games… Anthony Tolliver converted four treys on a season-high 11 attempts. Tolliver came into the game ranked seventh in the NBA in three-point percentage (.440)… Gary Neal has scored in double-digits off the bench in his first two games as Bobcat. Neal finished with 12 points and an assist in 20 minutes for the Cats… The Cats allowed over 100 points to an opponent for the first time since the All-Star break. The team held its previous five opponents under the century mark… Oklahoma City was without Thabo Sefolosha, who was inactive with a calf strain. The Cats were also without reserve Ben Gordon, who was waived earlier in the day by the team.
The Cats finish their road trip with the second game of a back-to-back against the defending-champion Heat, Mar. 3 in Miami. Listen live on WFNZ 610 am, the official Bobcats app or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.