On the verge of embarrassing the Lakers on their home court, the Bobcats came up emptier than a soda calorie on their last possession. Gerald Henderson failed to put back a partially-blocked Kemba Walker miss, Byron Mullens mistakenly thought the hoop was attached to the ceiling, and then Ben Gordon missed a pretty good 3-point look after a mad scramble. Ballgame.
I think the turning point actually came a few minutes earlier, when with 6:30 to go and the Bobcats down one, Walker missed two free throw attempts and then a wide-open 13-foot jumper that he normally makes with Spam-like consistency. Then the Bobcats forced the Lakers into an inbound play with about 2 seconds on the shot-clock that Kobe Bryant of course hero-balled for a 3-pointer. Now that I type it out, it doesn’t seem like much on paper, but trust me, it was an opportunity more golden than Juan Manuel Marquez’s urine and the Bobcats just couldn’t convert.
The shell-shocked Bobcats then PTSD’d their way to a 17-point humiliation the following night in Phoenix. Unlike the Lakers game, this one had more garbage time than a landfill. The Bobcats actually trailed by 30 at one point, and if I had to title this series, it would be “Please Shannon Don’t Hurt ‘Em.” Shannon Brown now owns the Bobcats like a mail-order bride, having gone for 50 points in their two contests. Brown was joined by a Phoenix phalanx of frenetic force: 17 made 3’s, 55% shooting from the field and 31 assists.