It was a close contest most of the way, and in the end, the best player on the floor swung the game. In the final moments, the Bobcats up by three, Gerald Wallace made a flying block of an attempted layup. Then, after O.J. Mayo tied the game with a clutch three with 8.8 seconds left, Crash leaped above everyone for a buzzer beating tap back of a missed Raymond Felton floater.
All Star? Hell yeah.
Highlights and lowlights after the jump.
-- Stephen Jackson took 20 shots from the field, scoring only 15 points, and he turned it over 6 times. In addition, he shared responsibility for guarding Mayo with Ronald Murray, and Mayo was the Grizz's key scorer all game long, scoring 25 points, including 4-6 from three. It seemed like Mayo had way too many uncontested three point attempts, especially given that he's Memphis's only credible three point threat with Mike Conley scratched due to an injured back.
-- Gerald Henderson was last seen playing a couple minutes against the Bucks on December 28. If you see him, please contact Larry Brown and remind him that good teams work rookies into their rotations because they're building for the future even as they play for today, because that's a major part of sustaining success.
-- Gerald Wallace's crunch time heroics were outlined above. He ended the game with 18 points on 15 attempts, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
-- Boris Diaw showed up to compete tonight. Maybe he needed the challenge of defending Zach Randolph and, at times, Marc Gasol, because he led the team with 10 rebounds, as well as dishing a team high 6 assists. 3-11 shooting sucks, but the rest of his game is valuable to this squad. He's simply a unique talent who brings a different dimension to the Cats' strategy when he's motivated and in the flow of the game.
-- The composite point guard of D.J. Augustin and Raymond Felton scored 24 points on 15 shots, got 7 assists, and held Marcus Williams and Jamal Tinsley in check.
-- Flip Murray scored 14 points on 8 attempts, including two clutch threes in the fourth quarter. It seems he's worked his way into Coach Brown's crunch time lineup. Streaky is as streaky does, so all hail the good streaks.