Joe Johnson hit a clutch jumper at the buzzer to give his Atlanta Hawks a win over the Charlotte Bobcats, 93-92. The Cats played well all night long, getting superlative performances from Gerald Wallace, who was returning from injury, and Raymond Felton, who sent the game into overtime with a basket in traffic with just a few seconds remaining in regulation.
Charlotte couldn't overcome an All Star making his best play of the game on the final play. They defended it perfectly, but even with
Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw Felton and Ratliff flailing at him on the left wing, Johnson was able to swish a fallaway jumper.
The loss puts the Cats at 35-33. See you all tomorrow for the Miami Heat game.
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Game thread comments, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENTS
Charlotte Bobcat -- [The name "Charlotte Flight"] seems to be all anyone can come up with though. I feel like there is a reason we didn’t pick that name the first time, because it’s garbage. Sounds like a team you have to unlock on a video game or something.
Ft.Mill Bobcat -- Boris chose to make a pass. It was the polite thing to do.
StudMuffin15 -- I want to drown my sorrow at Waffle House.
-- Tyrus Thomas and Theo Ratliff have a similar problem. They're on the roster primarily for their defensive contributions (3 blocks for Theo, including a monster block in the final minute of overtime), but they seem to believe they're capable of being high-volume offensive producers, too. Ratliff shot 1-9 for 3 points in 31 minutes. That's 10.5 attempts per 36 minutes. Thomas shot 5-10 for 11 points in 20 minutes, or 18 shots per 36 minutes. For reference, Gerald Wallace takes 10.6 attempts per 36 minutes and Stephen Jackson, our most prolific (profligate?) shooter, takes 16 shots per 36 for the season. They've got to lay off and put the ball in our better scorers' hands. Take a cue from Wallace and Rayond Felton: those two ha've greatly increased their value this season by reducing their total attempts and greatly increasing their quality attempts.
-- Corollary 1: What the hell was Ratliff doing taking the Cats' final shot of regulation? Crikey.
-- Corollary 2: What the hell was Jax doing killing three straight overtime possessions by launching three point attempts?
-- Wallace was his usual awesome self, scoring 20 points on 14 attempts and pulling down 16 rebounds. Welcome back, Crash.
-- Felton scored 25 points on 19 attempts, including 3-4 from three. There was an odd dynamic at times in the fourth quarter and overtime. Felton was scoring relatively easily early on because he was taking what he was given and making wide open shots. But then, after he realized that he was leading the scoring, he forced a few shots. Maybe the Chauncey Billups comparison really is apropos.
-- The Cats played solid defense through the first three and a half quarters. Even after a shaky crunch time, they only allowed the Hawks to shoot 42% from the field and 31% from three. Joe Johnson was a main black hole throughout the game, shooting 7-21 from the field, and Jamal Crawford also contributed a bunch of fruitless possessions by going 5-18.