An extremely hot night by both Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker can only mean one thing for the Charlotte Bobcats, great success. In a game that needed to be a win for the Cats to get back on track, the power duo responded tremendously and helped earn a 108-98 win over Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks. The loss ended New York’s surprising five-game win streak.
Tonight we saw the Charlotte team we all expected to see during the preseason. A team that would get the job done behind its two top stars and outplay competition behind big totals from both. The Jefferson-Walker combo thrived tonight on the scoring end as they scored a combined 60 points (55 percent of the team’s total) on 23-of-35 shooting from the field.
Jefferson added a season-high 35 points and Walker got red hot in the second half ending with a total of 25 points on the night. The Cats looked so much more comfortable with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back in the lineup (first time in six weeks) and the offense just seemed to flow at a much better pace then when he was absent.
Not having Anthony Tolliver or Chris Douglas-Roberts receiving significant minutes at the SF position looked to make the offense feel more comfortable. MKG is clearly who the other four starters are most familiar playing alongside.
Kidd-Gilchrist may have looked a little rusty on the offensive end (missing several key lay-ups), but you could just tell how much this rising squad missed his defensive presence. The Cats went just 7-12 in the former second overall pick’s long absence from the court. Be happy, Charlotte! If performances like this possibly come consistently, the team will be right back into the top of the East’s playoff picture.
The Bobcats continue their quest to dig out of the hole they dug themselves into earlier this month (1-5 in January prior to tonight’s game) when they go up against Michael Carter-Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night at 7 p.m. EST at the Wells Fargo Center. With the win, Charlotte takes a step back into the eighth spot, just a tad ahead of Jason Kidd‘s Brooklyn Nets.