Kemba Walker scored a team-high 18 points and Al Jefferson notched his 10th double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) of the season, but Josh McRoberts potential game-winning three-point attempt was too strong as the Cats fell, 89-85, to Oklahoma City on Dec. 27 at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Despite going down by as many 13 points early in the third quarter, 52-39, the comeback Cats went to work again and capped a 12-0 run with a Kemba Walker three-pointer that pulled Charlotte to within 52-51… Despite the rally, the Bobcats appeared to be watching this one slip away when Kevin Durant’s personal 10-4 run pushed the Thunder lead to 86-78 with 1:33 remaining… Charlotte responded with a three-pointer from Anthony Tolliver and back-to-back buckets from Kemba Walker to cut the lead to 86-85 with 14.8 ticks on the clock. OKC’s Reggie Jackson then connected on one of two freebies with 10.7 seconds left, giving Charlotte the chance for the win. Walker used Al Jefferson’s screen to get to the rack and kicked it out to a wide open Josh McRoberts outside the arc on the left side, but McRoberts’ attempt with 3.9 seconds left was too strong and Thabo Sefolosha corralled the rebound and knocked down both free throws to ice the game, 89-85.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Cats had tremendous balance from their starting lineup led by 18 points and seven assists from Kemba Walker. Al Jefferson followed with 16 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season, followed by Gerald Henderson with 14 points and Josh McRoberts with 12. Anthony Tolliver added six points on two treys… Neither team shot particularly well from the field in this one, as the Thunder held a 41.3 percent (33-for-80) to 37.5 percent (30-for-80) advantage. Charlotte did outshoot OKC 39.1 percent (9-for-23) to 32.0 percent (8-for-25) from long range, however. Five Bobcats connected on at least one three-pointer, led by McRoberts with three… The intangibles told the story in this one, where the two teams tied 26-26 in points in the paint, but the Thunder held a 12-6 advantage in second-chance points and 11-4 upper hand in fast-break points.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker continues to be clutch for the Cats. He finished with a team-high 18 points, including 13 as the Cats rallied in the second half, and added seven assists, four rebounds and a steal without turning the ball over. Walker has now scored in double figures in 19 consecutive games and 28 times overall this season.
THUNDER PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kevin Durant continued to showcase why he is the NBA’s leading scorer, finishing with a game-high 34 points, including 14 in the final frame. He added 12 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season and dished out six assists.
The Bobcats held the Thunder to 89 points after entering the game giving up only 93.6 points per game, the third-lowest average in the NBA. Last season, the team allowed 102.7 points,
ranking 29th in the league… The Bobcats have held their opponent under 100 points in 23 of their 30 games this season, the second-most such games in the NBA… Nine of the Bobcats 14 victories this season have been decided by six points or fewer. The Bobcats have the most wins in the NBA in games decided by six points or less this season… Kemba Walker’s streak of games with 20 points or more ended at six games. The six-game streak was the longest of his career, tied for the third-longest in franchise history and tied for the fourth-longest current streak in the NBA. During the six-game stretch, Walker averaged 26.0 points, while shooting .586 from the field (58-for-99), .500 from beyond the three-point line (14-for-28) and .813 from the free-throw line (26-for-32)… Al Jefferson recorded his 10th double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) of the season and tallied his 17th consecutive double-figure scoring game. Jefferson has recorded double-doubles in four of his last five games and nine of the last 14 games… Russell Westbrook missed the contest after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier in the day.
The Cats tip off a five-game road trip at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 28 in Atlanta before hitting the West Coast for a four-game road swing to start the New Year. 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.