A great night for the Bobcats

BY foxsports • February 8, 2011

By Kori Frederick
February 7, 2011

Any time you can knock off the team with the best record in your conference, you're having a good night. But when you can do it without the aid of your leading scorer, that's when you know you're having a great night.

The Bobcats, much to the surprise of the largely pro-Celtic crowd, beat the best team in the East, 94-89. They also managed to do so without leading scorer Stephen Jackson, who was tossed from the game at the end of the second quarter when he received back-to-back technicals for jawing at the refs a little too much. He still finished the game with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting in the first half.

But the victory came on the unlikely shoulders of the Bobcats bench, which has at times been non-existent this season. On a night when Ray Allen tying Reggie Miller's NBA record for most three-pointers all-time should have been the main event, he was denied the spotlight in part by the Bobcats bench. Shaun Livingston came off the bench for 18 points, to go along with Gerald Henderson's 15.

The real story for the Bobcats though was the dominant play from swing man Gerald Wallace. Wallace crushed the Celtics on both ends of the floor going for 19 points and 16 rebounds. He was tough on both ends of the glass and manhandled Paul Pierce multiple times. The game got physical between the two toward the end of the game when Pierce fouled Wallace hard on a layup sending Wallace flying to the ground. He hit both free throws putting the Bobcats up by one. They never gave up the lead in the last two minutes of the game.

The new "Paul Silas era" continues to show improvements in the Bobcats team. They looked energized and ready to play. Much like the Heat game, even when they were down they never looked like they were out of it. And unlike the Heat game, the Bobcats did not go cold in the fourth quarter, but instead remained poised and ran their offense through their star. Wallace snagged four clutch rebounds and was 4-for-6 at the line. Silas also had confidence in his bench, leaving both Henderson and Livingston in during the clutch minutes down the stretch. Henderson came through with two driving layups, and Livingston found Eduardo Najera at the top of the key for a dagger three-pointer.

All in all, beating the best team in your conference is always a good win, but the way the Bobcats were able to do it is what made it a great win. The new life under Silas is beginning to show through, and the Bobcats seem to be headed in the right direction as the midpoint of the season approaches.

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