If there was a worse way for this game to have gone, I’m not sure what it is. Star player is injured, your team loses, and opposing team’s star sits the entire fourth quarter. In a rivalry that your team has dominated. Yup, that’s about all I can say for tonight’s Charlotte Bobcats loss in Los Angeles.
It wasn’t all bad. But when the most impressive performance comes from the third Power Forward on the depth chart, and the best night for a starter is 22 points on 22 shots (DJ Augustin) to go with three turnovers, it was a bad night. Boris Diaw continued his act as Mr. Invisible, contributing 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a 2-9 night from the floor in 29 minutes. Stephen Jackson, who only played 25 minutes due to aggravating his hamstring injury, was 3-10 for 8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 turnovers. Gerald Henderson continued his struggles of late, going 3-11 for 7 points and 3 rebounds, and Kwame Brown had just 6 points and 7 rebounds. Augustin was the only starter to play more than 29 minutes, and the bench was the only productive part of the game. So let’s focus on the positives.
In a trade that appeared to make no sense at first, second, and 45th glance, the Nazr Mohammed – Mo Peterson/DJ White swap appears to have netted the ‘Cats a player. White, or DJ2 (or DJ-Deux, or whatever other nickname you like) played 19 minutes off the bench to score 11 points on 5-7 shooting, along with 7 rebounds and two blocks. Paul Silas said “I thought D.J. White did terrific tonight, he really played well. This is so new to him and he really played strong.” DJ2 was joined off the bench by Shaun Livingston (12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and Joel Pryzbilla (4 points, 8 rebounds). Dominic McGuire also added 6 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists, but he also had 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 23 minutes. This game featured much of the bench, as Eduardo Najera was the only Bobcat who played less than 12 minutes. However, Dante Cunningham received a confusing DNP-CD.
As a whole, the ‘Cats were the better shooting team than the Lakers, 40% to 38%. The Lakers, however, took 21 free throws (making 19) to the Bobcats 9 (all made). The Lakers also won the turnover margin, 12 to 7. Charlotte went just 1 for 10 from three point range (DJ Augustin being the lone make) while the Lakers were 5-25.
Kobe Bryant scored 27 to lead the Lakers, but he was an inefficient 10-25 from the field, and had three turnovers. Coach Silas credited Gerald Henderson for the stout defense on the Mamba, but it wasn’t enough to get a win. Pau Gasol added 20 for the Lakers and Lamar Odom added 12 off the bench.
Notes: Jackson will likely miss the game in Portland tommorow night…Charlotte is now 8-6 against the Lakers all-time, but hasn’t won in Los Angeles since 2008-2009…Derek Fisher left the game after getting his arm tangled with Kwame Brown on a rebound…The Bobcats face Gerald Wallace for the first time in franchise history tommorow night in Portland, at 10 p.m. EST on Sportsouth, before returning home to face the Clippers on Monday.