“We’re giving heavy minutes to a lot of young guys, and that’s a lot of seeds in the earth that will eventually be harvested,” Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said after the Clippers peed all over his flowerbed last night, 104-86. Dunlap’s strategy is nice and all, but Charlotte has been nothing but harvesters of sorrow for their drought-stricken fans this year, and last night was no oasis. Every Clippers point seemed to come either via 3-pointer or explosive dunk that left the Bobcats running for cover.
The game’s only bit of irony—a 6-point Bobcats lead after the first quarter—was quickly extinguished midway through the second quarter. “For 20 minutes we played fantastic basketball,” Dunlap said. “We had the lead, but we made some turnovers that they made some dunks off of, and…it carried over into the second half.” He’s perhaps over-simplifying the final 28 minutes a bit, but he definitely identified the turning point. Los Angeles went on a 15-5 run with 6 minutes left in the second quarter to melt Charlotte’s popsicle, and it was a rim-shaking siege of Blake Griffin- and DeAndre Jordan-authored savagery. Meanwhile, Charlotte responded with a turnover five-of-a-kind: traveling (Byron Mullens), bad pass (Kemba Walker), bad pass (Mullens), bad pass (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), bad pass (Walker), and…bad pass (Mullens again, just missing the bad pass hat trick). Again, though, the Bobcats didn’t so much go cold as they went Bobcat; Charlotte is 29th in both offensive and defensive efficiency (inexplicably still ahead of Sacramento in both categories—the Kings are the Hummer of NBA efficiency).