By Matt Rochinski
October 11, 2012
The Bobcats got off to a slow start at the North Charleston Coliseum on October 11, 2012 as they looked to split back-to-back games with New Orleans. Despite falling behind 23-7 after the first quarter, the Cats bounced back nicely but weren’t able to hold off the Hornets in a 90-87 loss. Byron Mullens scored 15 points and had a chance to send the game to overtime, but his game-ending trey came after time expired, moving Charlotte to 1-2 this preseason.
The Cats missed their first seven shots to start the game and finished the opening stanza shooting just 13.6 percent (3 of 22), compared to the Hornets 45.5 percent (10 of 22), and fell behind by 16 points early… Charlotte stepping things up defensively in the second quarter, holding New Orleans without a field goal until Brian Roberts’ jumper with 1:32 remaining. The Hornets missed their first 12 shots and finished the quarter 2 of 15 (13.3 percent)… The Bobcats forced seven New Orleans turnovers in the second and turned them into 11 points, while outscoring the Hornets, 29-15, to cut the lead to 38-36 at the break… The Cats pushed the lead to as large as 12 points in the third quarter, but New Orleans heated up in the fourth, connecting on 73.7 percent (14 of 19) of its shots and outscoring the Bobcats, 36-23, in the decisive frame… Brendan Haywood had a chance to tie it or give Charlotte the lead with 6.9 seconds left but missed both of his free throw attempts.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte wants to pride itself on defense in 2012-13 and showed it against the Hornets, forcing 22 turnovers it turned into 25 points while coughing it up just 13 times for eight points… The Bobcats also swiped 10 steals to New Orleans’ four and blocked nine shots to the Hornets five… Byron Mullens led the Cats with three steals, while Brendan Haywood and Bismack Biyombo each turned away three shots… There were 14 lead changes and nine ties in a game that was not decided until the final seconds.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Byron Mullens continues to play well in the preseason for Charlotte. He tied Ben Gordon with a team-high 15 points, connected on three treys, shared the team lead with Brendan Haywood with five rebounds and led the Cats with three steals.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Gerald Henderson came off the bench for the Bobcats in this one and scored 10 of his 11 points in the second quarter. He also added four assists, three rebounds and two steals and was +13 in the contest.
HORNETS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Lance Thomas was the spark off the bench for the Hornets, finishing with 14 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
“We knew we would be able to work ourselves back into the game if we came out and played solid basketball, and that’s what we started to do in the second quarter.” “We were able to maintain the lead, but we didn’t do a good job of sustaining the lead once we were up.”
– Bobcats Guard Ben Gordon on the game
“I was happy with our defense tonight and that’s something you can build on. I thought our effort was there but we still have a ways to go. Any time you can hold a team to 15 and 16 points in a quarter you see that your players are locked in defensively.”
– Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on the team’s defense
The Bobcats used their third different starting lineup of the preseason. Head Coach Mike Dunlap gave the nod to Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Byron Mullens and Brendan Haywood… Ramon Sessions easily had the largest cheering section in the North Charleston Coliseum. The Myrtle Beach product got his first chance to play professionally in his home state and did not disappoint, scoring 11 points and turning it over only once in 26 minutes off the bench.
The Cats return to Charlotte for a few practice days before heading out to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder at 8 p.m. on October 16, 2012. Make sure to join the live chat on bobcats.com.