It was another loss that left you shaking your head as a Bobcat fan. It was a game they dropped that they really shouldn't have. The Sixers turned the ball over 24 times and still won thanks to Thaddeus Young's 3-point basket that left a hair over three seconds for Charlotte to attempt a tying shot.
Kemba Walker was spectacular again for the second night in a row for the Bobcats, but his desperation 3-point shot to tie the game was too strong. Al Jefferson turned in another strong scoring output finishing with 24 points and hauling in boards, but the combination of Kemba and Big Al weren't enough in the fourth quarter as Evan Turner took over. He tallied 11 of his 23 points in the final 12 minutes and essentially willed Philadelphia to victory.
The game started out with Philly jumping out to an early lead, but behind 12 first quarter points from Big Al the Bobcats took the lead after one. It wasn't just that they had the lead at the end of the quarter: It was that the game felt like it was Charlotte's. That feeling quickly dissipated in the second quarter when a Michael Carter-Williams trey would give the Sixers the largest lead of the game at 10. The signs of the second night of a back-to-back set in as Charlotte's defense broke down and allowed 29 second-quarter points.
The Bobcats were able to cut a bucket off the lead heading into the break before picking it up defensively in the second half, but they couldn't generate enough offensive (imagine that) to get the win despite taking a five-point lead after a Ramon Sessions floater in the fourth. After the bucket by Sessions, it felt like Charlotte was going to walk out of Philly with a W, especially with the Sixers having gone ice cold from the field. The turning point in the game occurred on the very next possession when a Turner three took a friendly bounce and found its way through the hoop. That shot stopped the momentum the Bobcats had and was the beginning of Turner's takeover.
After his 3-point basket, the game went back and forth and ultimately came down to the final few possessions. After Carter-Williams split a pair of free throws, the Bobcats called a timeout trailing 92-90. Clifford called for a high pick-and-roll with Kemba and Big Al. Jefferson set a terrific screen allowing space for Kemba where he took the ball a couple dribbles inside the three-point line and nailed a mid-range jumper to tie the game. The Sixers called a timeout of their own and the ball wound up in Young's hands, who had struggled shooting the ball this evening, but he was able to sink a wide open three which would prove to be the game winning shot.
It was a back-and-forth game that felt like it was the Bobcats to take, but in what has become commonplace, they let it slip through their hands. If it weren't for Kemba and Big Al and Sessions coming up big in the final quarter, this wouldn't have even been a game. Gerald Henderson shot 2-for-14 from the floor and was hot garbage all night. Anthony Tolliver had hit nine straight threes prior to tonight, and though he started tonight 2-for-2, he missed his last five. In his second game back from injury MKG finished with just a point in 17 minutes of action. Cody Zeller's stat line (five points, six boards) was decent, which shows how low the bar is for him.
With the loss the Bobcats are on the outside looking in at the playoffs. They'll look to get back in the win column on Friday against Orlando.