After a disappointing loss in Oklahoma City, the Bobcats were home last night to face the Milwaukee Bucks, who they are battling for playoff position. This would be the final game played at Time Warner Cable Arena this decade (the Bobcats play one more game before New Year’s, but that’s in Toronto), and the Bobcats didn’t disappoint.
Charlotte started the game of rather tepidly, with only Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton scoring the first 16 points and going into the second quarter with just a 23-20 lead. But in the second quarter, the ‘Cats took off, outscoring Milwaukee 33-14 and entering the half with a 22 point lead. In the second half, Bucks coach Scott Skiles attempted to send a message to his team by sitting stars Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, and they were able to pull within 10, but never closer. Gerald Wallace scored 21 and had 14 boards, while Stephen Jackson had 12 points and Raymond Felton had 11. But tonight was all about the bench. Flip Murray dropped in 16, Stephen Graham contributed 11, and DJ Augustin and DeSagana Diop both had 7. Diop was credited with just one block, but from watching the game, he had at least three. This may have been Gana’s best game as a Bobcat, and he only played 12 minutes.
Post Game Quotes
Gerald Wallace: “I think, you know what, the first half was an A, the second half was a C. I think, the second half we got lazy, they got a lot of transition layups, a lot of transition wide-open shots, I think we got lacksadaisical with the lead, that we had. But I think the first half was great, we put ourselves in great position for the second half, and we were able to hold on.”
Gana Diop: on having more than the one official block – “Yeah, I got more than one, but I mean, I’m kind of used to that, from Dallas.”
on the bench: “We brought a lot of energy, you know what I’m saying, a kind of slow tempo of energy. Flip was real good on the break, we got a lot of rebounds, pushed the ball, and got a big lead in the first half.”
on coming in after watching all year: “Oh, I mean, it’s hard. But, being able to be out there and help the team, you know, being on the bench trying to cheer on my teammates, and work hard, come in for early practice, try to stay in shape, so I can get in there, I can do my job.”
on having inspiration to contribute: “Oh yeah, you got to. I mean, going early in the gym, with Cape [Assistant Coach Jeff Capel] and young guys, even though I got 9 years, DJ Augustin’s killin me. But yeah I just try to stay in shape and be ready for moments like this…it’s a long season, 82 games, you just gotta stay ready.”
Stephen Jackson: “We’re gettin better. That’s all you can ask. Still got room to grow but we’re gettin better. We’re gettin better as a team.”
on how important it is to beat another team in playoff contention: “Yeah, cuz we’re gonna be fighting for that last spot, you know, the last couple spots, should I say, at the end of the season, so it’s good to get one up on them. You know we lost one at home [in Milwaukee] against them already, so to even it out feels good.”
Larry Brown: “You know the first half we were great. I know they missed some shots, but I thought the first half we played great defense. The second half, just thank God for Stephen Graham and Gerald Wallace.”
on Stevie Graham: “I just, you know, I can count on him. He runs on the break, he tries to defend, rebounds, plays with energy. He gets better every game…I can play him almost any position, he can guard almost any position, I love guys like that.”
Next Up: Toronto
The Bobcats manhandled the Raptors the last time they played, winning 116-81 in Charlotte, the widest margin of victory ever for a Bobcats team. But the Raptors are on a roll right now, and the Bobcats are tied for the fewest road wins in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets (1 apiece). When asked about the upcoming game, Gerald Wallace said “We’re like 1 and forever on the road. We gotta figure out something or we’re gonna be watching the playoffs, because, I mean, it’d be good if we could’ve won all 41 home games, that’d give us a pretty good chance but I don’t think we’re gonna do that. We gotta figure out something on the road. Toronto, they’re a great offensive team, they have shooters all the way out to their assistant coaches, so we’re gonna have to figure out something for us as a team to prepare mentally and physically and what we can do to come out and be better on the road.” The game can be seen locally on Fox Sports Carolinas and heard on the radio on WBCN