Bobcats escape with 111-110 win over Bucks in OT

Kemba Walker said the most notable transformation between this

year’s Charlotte Bobcats and teams of the past is now they expect

to win games.

”That’s what it is,” Walker said. ”We go into games knowing

that we have a chance. We have the players and we have the

character. That’s the difference.”

The Bobcats went 28-120 in their previous two seasons, but a

renewed sense of confidence and determination is paying off.

Well, that and a having a big man who can dominate in the low

post.

Center Al Jefferson had a season-high 26 points, Walker nearly

had a triple double and the Bobcats overcame an 18-point deficit to

escape with a 111-110 overtime over the Milwaukee Bucks for their

fourth victory in the past five games Monday night.

Walker had 25 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Anthony

Tolliver had 12 points on four 3-pointers as the Bobcats avenged a

hard-to-swallow loss at home Saturday night against the Utah

Jazz.

Rookie Cody Zeller added a career-high 12 points for the Bobcats

(14-15) in what coach Steve Clifford called his best NBA game.

Jefferson told Walker this summer that he was signing as a free

agent with the Bobcats because he expected to win games.

He didn’t want to play for a cellar dweller.

”I told him I’m not going to get used to losing,” Jefferson

said. ”We want to try to turn things around. So far, so

good.”

It’s the third time in the last four games the Bobcats have come

back from at least 16 points down to win.

”We don’t like getting down that early, but it happens,”

Walker said. ”We are showing our resiliency. We are showing that

when we get down, we’re not out. We’re going to keep fighting. The

game is never over, especially in this league.”

Brandon Knight had 26 points and 14 assists to lead the Bucks

(6-22), who have lost five of their last six games.

The Bucks had a chance to tie in overtime off an inbounds play

with 1.6 seconds left, but officials ruled Khris Middleton’s foot

was on the line and his jumper counted as two points instead of

three.

”I didn’t know where I was,” said Middleton, who had 19

points. ”It was a good play and a good shot, but obviously my foot

was on the line. Anybody wants that situation. I just caught it and

shot it.”

It was Charlotte’s third victory this season against Milwaukee,

although this one was much closer than the previous two.

The Bobcats beat the Bucks twice in November by 24 and 16

points.

But it was Milwaukee that jumped out to a 35-17 lead in the

second quarter by dominating the boards.

Charlotte’s starters were 6 of 20 from the field at one point

before Jefferson started to get hot toward the end of the second

quarter and helped the Bobcats trim the lead to 54-52 at the

break.

The teams entered the fourth quarter tied, but Tolliver knocked

down his fourth 3-pointer with 4:02 left on the clock to give

Charlotte a 96-94 lead.

The Bucks would cut the lead to one with 35 seconds left before

Walker hit a pull-up jumper from 13 feet with 16 seconds left.

After a timeout, Middleton missed a 3-pointer, but O.J. Mayo

grabbed the loose rebound and knocked down a 25-footer to send the

game into overtime.

In the extra period, the Bobcats took a one-point lead late on a

free throw by Jefferson.

The Bucks had a chance to take the lead but Middleton missed a

jumper and Walker grabbed his ninth rebound of the game. Walker

knocked down two free throws with 1.6 seconds left to push the lead

to 111-108.

Milwaukee’s last ditch effort fell short when Middleton’s jumper

at the buzzer from the right corner went in, but was ruled a

two-pointer.

Replays showed his foot was on the line.

”We just have to get over the hump,” Bucks coach Larry Drew

said. ”We’re knocking at the door. We just have to get over the

hump. We’re putting ourselves in position. Like I told the guys, we

can have good stretches and then we have breakdowns. Bad shots are

just as good as a turnover. Particularly on the road. You have to

be disciplined enough to get good shots.”

The Bobcats had a season-high 10 3-pointers including a 4-for-4

effort by Tolliver, who took over as the starter after Jeffery

Taylor tore his Achilles tendon last week.

NOTES: The Bobcats announced that Taylor had surgery to repair a

torn right Achilles tendon and is expected to miss six to nine

months. … Jefferson has scored in double digits in 16 straight

games for the Bobcats. … Former North Carolina Tar Heel P.J.

Hairston was on hand for the game against the Bucks watching former

college teammate John Henson.