Dismal Shooting Dooms Dubs in Decisive 91-75 Defeat to Charlotte

By Matthew Harrington

What a difference a month makes. The Golden State Warriors started January smack dab in the middle of what would be a 10-game win streak, the second-longest in franchise history. In Tuesday night’s 91-75 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats at Oracle Arena the Warriors opened the second month on the calendar on a far less meritorious note. A 75-point output courtesy of a 31.2 shooting percentage against Charlotte (22-28) represented single-game lows in both categories for Golden State this season. The usually sharp-shooting Warriors (29-20) nailed only four shots from beyond the arc on 20 attempts in a night when the home team hoop had an air-tight lid over it.

No Warrior reached double-digits in field goals, with Stephen Curry (8 for 18), Klay Thompson (5 for 13) and David Lee (3-13) all struggling to make the baskets fall in front of the sell-out crowd. Curry’s 17 points topped all Warriors player, while Thompson added 12.

Al Jefferson led the Bobcats to the win on a game-high 30 points and Bobcat-best 13 rebounds for the double-double and guard Gerald Henderson dropped 17. Warriors center Andrew Bogut pulled down 15 boards to lead all players.

Things appeared to be going the Warriors way early, with the home team leading 7-5 just under three minutes into play, but Charlotte held the hosts to only three field goals to close out the first quarter holding a 26-13 lead. Golden State struggled to gain ground in the second 12 minutes, cutting the deficit to nine points a handful of times, but couldn’t sustain momentum. They faced a 51-39 Bobcat lead at the half.

The second half was another 24 minutes of futility for the Warriors, as Charlotte outscored Golden State 40-36 to maintain the lead and sweep the season series against. Charlotte is now 10-9 in its last 19 meetings with Golden State.

The loss proved another example for Coach Mark Jackson who called out the Warriors, losers of 6 of their last 10, for playing down to the ability of a lesser opponent during the tough stretch. Dually disappointing for Jackson’s squad is the missed opportunity for the Warriors, despite their struggles to move past the Phoenix Suns into second place in the Pacific Division. Phoenix, entering play Tuesday night a half-game up on the Warriors, lost earlier in the night 101-92 at home to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls will travel further west to square off with Golden State at Oracle Arena Thursday night. After the Bulls come to town, the Warriors hit the road, heading to the desert to face the team directly above them in the standings for a Saturday night contest in Phoenix.

Charlotte Hands the Kings a 113-103 Loss

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Photo credit: Rocky Widner NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Charlotte Bobcats came into Sacramento on Saturday night having lost five games in a row. The Kings game into the game looking for redemption after the disappointing loss to the Sixers on Thursday night. Both teams saw each other as being a beatable team.

The Bobcats were more motivated than the Kings and left Sacramento with a win 113-103.

The Bobcats were led by point guard Kemba Walker with 30 points. Walker was 12 for 19 from the field and four of six on 3-point attempts. He also dished out six assists and pulled down four rebounds.

Center Al Jefferson also had a big night for Charlotte. He poured in 27 points, grabbed nine rebounds, had two assists and two steals. Gerald Henderson hit for 16 points, Ramon Sessions scored 12 off the bench while Chris Douglas-Roberts added 10.

The Kings finished with some strong performances of their own. Cousins posted his 20th double-double of the season scoring 26 while grabbing 11 rebounds. Rudy Gay had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jason Thompson recorded a double-double putting up 15 points and being credited with 14 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas added 21 points and eight assists.

The problem for the Kings was another slow starting first half. The Bobcats shot 64.3% (27-42) from the field while hitting on five of seven (71.4%) from beyond the 3-point line. Charlotte scored 65 points in the first half. It’s going to be a long night when you give up 32 points in the first and 33 points in the second quarter to your opponents. The Kings trailed 65-52 at the intermission.

The Kings played better basketball in the second half. The defense stepped up and stopped giving up easy shots. Sacramento started moving the ball and attacking the rim. The problem was even with the improved effort the Kings were unable to take back the lead from Charlotte. The Kings cut the lead to three with 8:02 left to play in the game, but the Bobcats roared back to open up a lead of 12 points with 1:02 to go. The Kings had to expel so much effort trying to get back into the game that they were never able to put themselves in a position to win.

After the game, a disappointed Kings Head Coach Michael Malone spoke about his team’s lack of defense in the first half. Allowing Charlotte to score 65 first half points obviously frustrated him. He said that at some point his team needs to become “embarrassed” about being 29th in multiple defensive categories. Malone feels there will be no significant change until they do.

Malone also pointed out that his team lost two winnable games versus Philadelphia and Charlotte. After playing at such a high level against San Antonio and Houston, the poor effort put forward in the Sixers and Bobcats games is very disappointing.

Things do not get easier for the Kings as they must prepare to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. The Blazers downed the Bobcats 134-104 Thursday. Portland lost to the Sixers 101-99 on Saturday. The Kings need to anticipate facing an angry Blazers team that is looking to revenge a loss to a team they should have beaten.

Walker’s season-high trumps Curry’s

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

By Pearl Allison Lo

Despite Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry’s season-high 43 points, the Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker’s season-high tying 31 points, was the one that counted in a 115-111 last minute victory Monday.

Curry also had 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 blocks while Walker had 5 rebounds and 5 assists as the teams met for the first time this season.

The Warriors did not really factor in the first half as they put up 37 three pointers over the course of the game.

With 21 seconds left in the game, Walker, went 6 of 8 from the free throw line, missing two right before Curry made it 109-111 with 11 seconds left and another three pointer. However, Curry could not make two more three pointers, including one from 40 feet out, as Walker went perfect his last four times from the line to seal the game.

Charlotte was never behind the whole game and built up a nine point lead during the 1st quarter. Within the first four minutes, Golden State had already attempted three three pointers and the Bobcats’ Al Jefferson was active on both ends, grabbing five rebounds and going 1 of 4 from the floor. Off a steal with 7:47 left to go, Charlotte’s  Josh McRoberts assisted Walker on a layup and then scored a three pointer less than 30 seconds later, when Walker assisted him off a defensive rebound. The Warriors went 0 for 8 from the three point line, while the Bobcats only attempted one, which they missed.

 In the 2nd quarter, Charlotte led by as many as 14 points and both teams went scoreless for over two minutes.

Golden State turned up the heat in the third, scoring 36 points, on 7 of 14 three pointers. The Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had three apiece. With 2:44 left in the quarter, Golden State cut the lead down from 13 to 6, attempting four three pointers in a row, making the first two, and one with less than a minute to go. The Bobcats had their biggest lead of 15 points during the quarter.

Thompson made it 80-83 with a three pointer to lead off the 4th quarter. Curry’s second free throw with 8:52 left and fourth consecutive of the quarter, tied the game at 88 apiece. However, four fouls by the Warriors, including two steals by Ben Gordon, and three three pointers from Charlotte, gave the Bobcats back a double digit lead. A three by Curry made it 102-107 with 2:28 left to go as Golden State made another comeback. The Warriors also had an over 30 second sequence in which they eventually scored and could have gotten more.

Game notes: Golden State had two technical fouls during the game. David Lee had a double double with a season-high 16 rebounds and 14 points and Josh McRoberts had one with 10 rebounds and 11 points. The Warriors next play Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.