The Bobcats (6-36) entered Dallas on March 15 looking for their first win over the Mavericks in 15 tries and had the elusive win in sight for three quarters before falling, 101-96, on the tail end of a four-game road trip.
Charlotte had things going in the first half, putting together one of their best shooting halves of the season on their way to a 54-48 halftime lead against the defending NBA Champions. The Bobcats shot 51.2 percent (22 of 43) from the field, including 67.0 percent (6 of 9) from 3-point range led by 10 points from Kemba Walker and eight points apiece from D.J. Augustin and Tyrus Thomas… Charlotte knew it would have to withstand a Dallas rally coming out of the locker room and held its ground for much of the third quarter… However, Dirk Nowitzki caught fire late in the stanza, connecting on back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the score and give the Mavs a 65-62 lead and cap a 14-4 Dallas run… The Bobcats trailed 74-68 heading to the fourth and saw the deficit grow to as large as 94-77 with 4:12 remaining… Still, Charlotte would not go away and outscored Dallas 19-7 the rest of the way, but the Mavs were able to put the game away at the free-throw line.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
After shooting 51.2 percent (22 of 43) from the field in the first half, the Bobcats struggled to find the basket in the third quarter. Charlotte hit on just 5-of-21 shots (23.8 percent) and was outscored 26-14 in the frame to allow the Mavs to take control… After draining 6-of-9 treys in the first half, the Bobcats missed all four 3-pointers they took in the third quarter, while Dallas hit four shots from long range… The largest advantage the Mavs held came in the paint, where they outscored Charlotte, 42-20.
BOBCATS PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Tyrus Thomas had his best game since being inserted back in the starting lineup, finishing with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting while adding eight rebounds in 28 minutes. It was Thomas’ first double-digit scoring game since February 11 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Kemba Walker continued to provide instant offense off the bench for Charlotte with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes.
MAVERICKS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dirk Nowitzki keyed the Dallas comeback with nine points in the third quarter and finished with 27 points, six rebounds and five assists.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
"We played as well as we can play. It was just the third quarter that gives us problems, but everything else was almost picture perfect. When they put the zone on us, we couldn’t make shots. You’ve got to give them credit, they came through in the end, but I like the way we played"
- Bobcats Head Coach Paul Silas
"Those guys [Dallas], they came back, they did everything right, and they made shots, while we didn’t really make shots, and that’s what happened. That’s been happening to us all year; the 3rd quarter has been a major problem for us. I don’t know, though. We just couldn’t hit shots. I thought we got some great looks, they just weren’t falling"
- Bobcats Guard Kemba Walker
Corey Maggette led the Bobcats with 21 points, while Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin also added 12 points apiece to round out Charlotte’s double-digit scorers… Both teams got significant contributions from their benches, with the Bobcats reserves scoring 35 points and the Mavs backups totaling 46 points… Bismack Biyombo hauled down a game-high 11 rebounds and added two points and two blocks… Boris Diaw and Cory Higgins were both healthy scratches for Charlotte… The Mavericks are the only team in the NBA the Bobcats have yet to beat.
The Bobcats return to Charlotte to start a three-game homestand at 7 p.m. on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors. The first 7,500 fans at this St. Patrick’s Day game will receive a free Bobcats hat. Catch all the action on SportSouth and listen to us on WFNZ. Also, don’t forget to join the chat at bobcats.com.