By Matt Rochinski
December 31, 2012
The Bobcats ended 2012 on a winning note, snapping their 18-game losing streak with a 91-81 victory over the Bulls on December 31 in Chicago. Kemba Walker led four Bobcats scoring in double digits with 18 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocked shots.
Charlotte never trailed in this one after jumping out to a 21-11 lead midway through the first quarter behind five points from Kemba Walker, Jeffery Taylor and Hakim Warrick. The Bobcats had tremendous balance throughout this one, as six of the eight Cats who scored had five-or-more points in the first half led by 11 points from Ramon Sessions. Charlotte led 47-42 at the halftime break. The Bulls rallied to tie things up, 65-65, heading to the final frame, but Charlotte didn’t blink, scoring the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to build a 75-65 lead. The Cats defense buckled down in the decisive fourth, holding Chicago to four points in the first eight minutes and 16 points overall in the quarter.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Cats got the win by outshooting Chicago 47.1 percent (33-for-70) to 35.1 percent (33-for-94) from the field and 40.0 percent (4-for-10) to 25.0 percent (4-for-16) from the 3-point range… Charlotte did solid work on the glass, holding a 52-49 rebounding advantage… The Bobcats defended the paint well led by three blocks from Jeff Adrien and finished with nine blocks to the Bulls five… The Cats could have run away with this one but struggled from the charity stripe, hitting just 55.3 percent (21-for-38) of their freebies.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker led the Cats with 18 points and played a great game on both ends of the floor, hauling down eight rebounds, dishing out six assists, swiping four steals and blocking two shots.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Former Bull Ben Gordon was at home back at the United Center, scoring 15 points on 58.3 percent (7-for-12) shooting while adding three rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 24 minutes off the bench.
BULLS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Luol Deng did his best to keep the Bulls in the game with a game-high 20 points to go with 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
“Tonight was a good night for us offensively. Also, our defense played solid all the way through the game. During this losing streak we have been up and down with that, especially at the end of games. Down the stretch we did what we needed to by taking care of the ball and hitting our free throws. We are learning about each other now and how each guy likes to get the ball. Ben (Gordon) came in and did his thing. I posted up, and we ran Ben off of screens. It’s just been an adjustment period for us this month.”
- Bobcats Guard Gerald Henderson on the game
“When you go through an entire month without a win, it really eats at you. It is especially hard for our young guys who need to build confidence. We were close in a lot of games but just didn’t win. I’m happy that we came in here and were able to do it. I have a lot of respect for this team and the defense and how hard they play. For us we were just trying to find something that would help us win. Our game is to run and rim and pressure the ball.”
- Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on the win
The Cats finished with four players in double-digit scoring – Kemba Walker (18 points), Gerald Henderson (16), Ben Gordon (15) and Ramon Sessions (15)… Jeff Adrien saw his most action as a Bobcat and made the most of his opportunity. He scored nine points, grabbed 10 boards and blocked a game-high three shots in 20 minutes… Eight of the nine Cats who played scored at least five points, and all nine players grabbed at least two rebounds… Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right eye contusion), Byron Mullens (ankle) and Tyrus Thomas (calf) were inactive due to their respective injuries.
The Bobcats will play their first game of 2013 at 7 p.m. on January 4 when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit Time Warner Cable Arena®. Watch the game on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. You can follow the live in-game chat by going to bobcats.com or downloading the Bobcats app on your smartphone.