The Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards are two teams battling to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Considering how things are shaping up their presence, it seems likely, but that wasn’t noticeable at the Time Warner Cable Arena where both teams gave the impression that tonight’s contest was a do-or-die game.
And the Bobcats managed to come through and won 100-94 thanks to a spectacular rally during the final quarter. While it’s no secret that the Wizards couldn’t play with the same intensity that they did during the first three quarters, most of that needs to be accredited to Charlotte’s suffocating defense and effectiveness on the offensive side of the ball. In that department, some unexpected heroes emerged when the team needed them the most.
Kemba Walker – 19 points to go along with 10 assists – and Al Jefferson – 19 points and 10 rebounds – led the team’s offense, but the real heroes were Cody Zeller and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Neither is expected to play a significant role in the team’s offensive scheme, but they appear tonight and led Charlotte’s comeback in spectacular fashion as their hustle and effectiveness near the rim prevented the Wizards from securing a berth in this year’s playoffs.
Douglas-Roberts grabbed some key offensive rebounds in the final minutes and made some clutch baskets to finish with 18 points off the bench. Zeller, on the other hand, scored a career-high 15 points and added eight rebounds in a performance where his energy and determination off the court was a key factor in the team’s win.
Despite a putrid 14.3 percent from beyond the arc and not being at their best during three full quarters, the Bobcats woke up at the perfect time and ended up winning a key contest against a direct rival. A win that takes them one step closer to make a trip to the postseason.