After last night's loss to the Celtics, the Bobcats couldn't afford a loss tonight. The 6th seed is on the line. The Wizards managed to beat the Bucks, and had the Bobcats lost to the 76ers tonight, they would need some crazy luck to have a shot at the 6th seed. Right now, they're still only down one game with a favorable schedule at the finish.
It was another slow start for the Bobcats tonight. The Sixers shot over 50 percent from the field for most of the game and actually led by three at the end of the first half. The Bobcats were a little out of character, letting their offense keep them in the game rather than their defense. Al Jefferson was the biggest contributor to the offense tonight, scoring 29 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to get his 40th double-double of the season.
With Kemba Walker resting an injury he sustained against the Celtics, the Bobcats desperately needed some extra help tonight and thankfully, some guys stepped up. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Gerald Henderson, and even Luke Ridnour had 10 or more points. Ridnour even dished out a handful of assists. However, it was quite obvious throughout the game that Walker was missing. There were a lot of unforced turnovers and sloppy play that usually doesn't occur when Walker is playing.
The Bobcats' offense is what kept them in the game, but as they typically do, they nearly gave fans a heart attack during the fourth quarter. First, their defense woke up and managed to get Charlotte a 16-point lead. Then, the defense started to slide again. Soon, that comfortable lead was 10 points. Then it was seven. Then it was four, and things started to look a little uneasy. Luckily, it was too late for the Sixers. A late bucket from Henderson stretched the lead back to six, which led the Sixers to play the foul game.
It was not the prettiest win for Charlotte, but it was a big one nonetheless. The Bobcats' offense torched the Sixers' defense all night, and that was enough to keep them in the game when their defense struggled. The Bobcats were only up a small number of points or found themselves losing most of the night. It's okay to give them a pass, as tonight's game was the second of a back-to-back. Still, nobody wants to see the Bobcats lose against the second worst team in the NBA. A win is a win, and this one was huge for the Bobcats if the 6th seed is what they desire.