The Charlotte Bobcats' first-ever playoff-clinching win didn't go as planned. The Cats opened up a 26 point lead on the New Orleans Hornets, and then gave it all back in the third quarter, leading to a tense, back and forth, final period. The Cats ended up winning, 104-103, thanks to a clutch three from D.J. Augustin with 15 seconds remaining, and, paired with the Raptors' loss to the Celtics, that put the Cats into the playoffs.
The worst you can say about tonight is the huge lead they lost to a middling Hornets squad does not inspire confidence heading into the postseason. Be happy for the playoffs. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to play for seeding.
Marcus Thornton torched the Bobcats much of the night, ending up with 36 points. Darren Collison had yet another productive night both scoring and distributing, scoring 24 points on 13 attempts and dishing 9 assists.
Game thread comments, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENTS
(Both after Augustin's three...)
Ft.Mill Bobcat -- Whoops, I just woke up the kids.
Julius Coxswain -- ICE COLD FATALITY... I hope.
-- It's obvious to everyone but Bobcats brass, apparently, that Larry Hughes has no place in an NBA rotation. Seriously, I'd love to know what they see in him other than "he's been in the league a long time". Tonight, he shot 2-8 from the field for 6 points in his 24 minutes. (24!) Oh, yes. And 0 assists.
-- The Cats turned it over 22 times. That's awful.
-- Gerald Wallace had, one of his worst games of the year, with 8 points on 2-6 shooting, only 6 rebounds, and 4 turnovers.
-- Tyson Chandler put up 16 points on 9 attempts, with 10 rebounds. This is the peak performer we'd dreamed of seeing.
-- Stephen Jackson is a volume shooter. We get it. The shtick isn't quite stale, yet, though, and I think it's because he's still making good on his shots enough that there hasn't been an uprising. It'll happen eventually. Just like with Golden State. Until then, enjoy nights like this, with 29 points on 18 attempts.
-- Augustin had yet another excellent game, hitting the aforementioned clutch three, and ending up with 14 points on 5-7 shooting.