By Matt Rochinski
December 15, 2012
A career night from Kemba Walker was almost enough to carry the Cats past Orlando on December 15 at Time Warner Cable Arena® but Charlotte came up short in a 107-98 loss. Walker scored a career-best 32 points and added seven assists and two rebounds.
With 5:49 remaining, the Cats trailed 92-86 when Kemba Walker took over. Walker drained two free throws, drew a charge on Arron Afflalo, knocked down a 3-pointer and converted on the break following a Byron Mullens block of Glen Davis in a personal 7-0 run to give Charlotte a 93-92 lead with 4:08 remaining… The Bobcats missed five shots and turned it over once over a 2:52 span before Bismack Biyombo slammed one home with 1:16 remaining to cut Orlando’s lead to 100-95… The Magic hit the last five field goals they attempted and went 4-for-5 from the charity stripe as they outscored Charlotte 15-5 to close the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Charlotte shot 46.2 percent (36-for-78) from the field but allowed the Magic to convert 54.4 percent (43-for-79)… The Bobcats (33.3 percent) outshot Orlando (29.4 percent) from long range, but lost the matchup at the charity stripe 84.2 percent to 75.9 percent… The Cats were outrebounded, 43-31, and gave up 60 points in the paint while scoring 54 of their own… Charlotte forced 14 turnovers and converted those to 23 points, including 20 fast-break points to the Magic’s seven.
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kemba Walker had his highest scoring game as a pro, finishing with 32 points on 11-for-20 shooting. He added seven assists, two rebounds and a steal while turning it over just twice in 38 minutes.
BOBCATS TOP RESERVE
Ramon Sessions has become a primary option off the Cats bench as of late and was called upon again, leading the reserves with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
MAGIC PLAYER OF THE GAME
JJ Redick was clutch for Orlando down the stretch, leading the Magic with six points in the fourth quarter while dishing out two assists and grabbing two rebounds. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes off the bench.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM
“I’m trying to get better. That’s all I can really do at this point. I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help my team win basketball games. No matter how many points I have, I really don’t care about that stuff, I’m just trying to win. It just wasn’t enough tonight.”
– Bobcats guard Kemba Walker on his performance
“He’s a champion, one, and two, he’s ever evolving as a leader and as a point guard. The evidence is there. There’s a lot going on there that’s positive through some difficult times right now but he’s definitely a bright light.”
– Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker’s 32 points topped his previous career high of 30 he dropped on Opening Night against Indiana on November 2… Aside from the personal 7-0 run Walker had to give the Cats the late lead, he also scored eight points in the first four minutes of the third quarter to cut Charlotte’s deficit to 62-58… Gerald Henderson made his first start since missing 13 games with a foot injury and put up 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 34 minutes… Byron Mullens finished with 12 points and four rebounds and helped keep the Cats in the game with nine points in the third quarter as Charlotte outscored Orlando, 29-25.
The Bobcats begin a four-game West Coast swing on December 18 in Los Angeles when they tip off at 10:30 p.m. against the Lakers. It will be the first of four games in five days for the Cats. Catch all the games on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Follow the live in-game chat at bobcats.com or download the app on your smartphone.