In a night that turned out to be a scoring duel between Stephen Curry and Kemba Walker, it was the Charlotte Bobcats and their point guard who came out on top with the 115-111 win, despite giving up the individual battle to the Golden State Warriors star.
Stephen Curry had one of those nights in which not every shot he attempted went in, but he wasn’t afraid of trying again and again. He finished with 43 points on a 14-of-32 shooting game and an awful 5-of-16 from beyond the arc. Ball hog? He did finish with 9 assists, but maybe some better decisions from him and a willingness to actually give up on some shots would have helped the Warriors earlier on, letting their turnover problem (15 to 7) beat them again.
The Charlotte Bobcats are 10-11, which is almost like being a conference champion in the East. After two very depressing years, things are looking up for this group, and there’s a lot more effort and passion, from the fans and from the players, shown by Gerlad Henderson and his huge block on Harrison Barnes during the first half.
It is fun. Everybody knows he’s a great player, a great scorer. I love to play against the best. He made some tough shots. I thought I played some good defense, but it was better offense at times. We came out with the win. That’s all I really care about at this point.
Kemba Walker felt like it was his night. He finished with 31 points on a much better 10-of-18 from the field. Walker will probably never be the poster child for scoring efficiency, but he’s turning out to be a leader the Bobcats organization has been missing for quite some time, developing very nicely into his third year in the NBA.
The Warriors without Iguodala should be worried. They seemed out of the game by the third quarter, and if it wasn’t for some crazy shooting from Curry and a bit from Klay Thompson (22 points, 4-of-12 from beyond the arc), it wouldn’t have ended this close. David Lee (14 points and 16 rebounds) managed to pull the game within two after Curry missed a three pointer, but Kemba Walker was fouled and clinched the game from the line.
One of the big differences in this game was the bench. The Warriors have only two players (Draymond Green and Jermaine O’Neal) more than two minutes on the floor, getting a combined 10 points from their subs. The Bobcats won’t have anyone winning Sixth Man of the year awards, but they did get 12 points out of Ben Gordon and 13 from Ramon Sessions, as the backcourt players (along with the 24 from Gerald Henderson) were in charge of 69.6% of the points.
Mark Jackson, who hasn’t been really able to improve his team this offseason, preferred focusing on Curry than on his bad coaching when the game was over.
He’s playing and acting like he’s the best player on the floor night in and night out, carrying us down the stretch, making plays, choosing when to take over offensively and he knows when to facilitate. You see his scoring and you fall in love with his jump shot. He’s a guy that’s among the league leaders in assists also. He’s playing at a different level. He’s getting to the level of the baddest man on the planet. It’s really fun to see. It takes everyone else to another level.