Bobcats lose to Pacers 104-101

It's dispiriting that a near-consensus non-playoff team like the Indiana Pacers stayed close to the Bobcats all night, and then pulled ahead in the final minutes to snatch a win, 104-101.

Gerald Wallace led the way for Charlotte, scoring 29 points and doing most of the work on keeping Danny Granger from going full nova. Though he didn't shoot well from the field (1-6), Tyrus Thomas provided a defensive spark off the bench and frequently got to the free throw line, where he drained all his attempts (9-9).

If the Cats want to make the playoffs, a realistic path to the postseason must include consistent winning over non-contenders like the Pacers. "Dispiriting" might not be the right word. Maybe the more obvious "disappointing" better captures it.

Game thread comments, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.

GAME THREAD COMMENTS

Tim Rudisill -- Every time the announcer says "Paul George" my mind replaces it with "Boy George". It’s one way to make a Pacers game more interesting.

Supercam -- Wallace just got fouled and didn't hit the ground...remember where you were when this happened, it won't happen again

BAD

-- We know Stephen Jackson will have these types of games. As rapturous as it is when he's splashing threes and disrupting passing lanes, 10 points on 4-13 shooting doesn't cut it.

-- Nazr Mohammed is a totally competent NBA big man, but he's miscast as a starting center, and Larry Brown is probably justified in playing DeSagana Diop over 20 minutes, because even though Diop is a terrible offensive player, he looks solid on defense. If a guy's only going to be solid on one end of the floor, I appreciate going with the better defender.

-- Bad job by the Bobcats putting the ball into Tyrus Thomas's hands, in the post, isolated on Roy Hibbert, with 12 seconds to go, down by one. As iso play is the default last-second call, because it sets up a hero narrative, but with no single go-to scorer, running a play like it's any other possession is the best course of action.

GOOD

-- Gerald Wallace hasn't skipped a beat from last season. 29 points, including 12-18 from the free throw line (for comparison, Indiana attempted 24 free throws as a team), 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block is right in line with his performance once Tyrus Thomas joined the team last season.

-- I like this version of Boris Diaw. He's taking threes, which pulls big men away from the basket, but he's also concentrating on rebounding (8), so I'm less concerned about "only" 13 points and "only" 2 assists.

-- Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson combined to shoot 5-5 from the field and get 14 points. The roster crunch and Larry Brown's preference to play Wallace and Jackson as many minutes as possible cuts into their playing time significantly. They were impressive, but they don't deserve to play ahead of Crash 'n Jax. It's a tough situation.

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