Bobcats Down Raptors 104-102 With Help From Kemba

TORONTO—Kemba Walker poured in 29 points, including a buzzer-beating jump shot in overtime, to lift the Charlotte Bobcats to a 104-102 win over the Toronto Raptors Wednesday.

Al Jefferson came up big in the extra session, scoring five of his 24 points while hauling in 11 rebounds for the ‘Cats, who won their second straight.

The Bobcats enjoyed nice balance as Josh McRoberts scored 13 points, Ramon Sessions and Gerald Henderson each netted 11 and Anthony Tolliver chipped in with 10.

DeMar DeRozan starred for the Raptors, scoring 30 points and stripping the ball from Walker before he could put up a potential game-winner in the closing seconds of regulation time.

The Raptors enjoyed a 47-37 lead at the break, but the Bobcats played better in the third quarter and knotted the score at 70-70 as Jefferson and Walker heated up with a combined 21 points.
The Bobcats improved to 12-14 despite missing 12 of their 34 free throws. The Raptors fell to 9-14 even with advantages in rebounding, assists, steals and blocks.

Bobcats Blow Lead, Fall To Lakers At Home, 88-85

CHARLOTTE— The Charlotte Bobcats blew a late lead and a chance to hand the Los Angeles Lakers a devastating blow with an 88-85 loss Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Kemba Walker drained an 18-foot jumper to put the ‘Cats up 85-79 with 2:49 remaining, but Charlotte didn’t score again as the Lakers closed out their win with a 9-0 run.
Kobe Bryant was instrumental in helping L.A. avoid a fourth straight loss since his return from injury, hitting a layup and connecting on a pair of free throws. Nick Young salted away the Lakers victory with a clutch three-pointer and Pau Gasol added a pair of free throws.
Bryant finished with 21 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds while Gasol and Jordan Hill added 15 each.
Kemba Walker was the game’s high scorer with 24 points, while teammates Al Jefferson and Jeff Taylor struggled with their shooting in combining to hit just 10 of 31 field goal attempts.

Nelson Lifts Magic Over Bobcats, 92-83

CHARLOTTE — Jameer Nelson had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Orlando Magic snapped a six-game losing streak with a 92-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Glen Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 16 points.

Nelson came up with a big 3-pointer late for the Magic, and also had seven rebounds and six assists while outplaying fellow point guard Kemba Walker.

The Bobcats shot 37 percent from the field to see their two-game win streak come to an end.

Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Walker, who had 31 points against Stephen Curry on Monday night, was held to 10 points on 4 of 18 shooting.

Nowitzki’s Strong Finish Leads Mavs Over Bobcats

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki recovered from a rough start to score 25 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and the Mavericks kept the Charlotte Bobcats winless in Dallas with an 89-82 victory Tuesday night.

Nowitzki, who was 1 of 10 from the field in the first half, and Monta Ellis took over late after struggling most of the game. They scored the last 19 points to help the Mavericks outscore Charlotte 29-15 in the fourth.

Al Jefferson scored 19 points, and Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker had 16 apiece for the Bobcats, who are 0-10 in Dallas and 1-17 overall against the Mavericks. That’s the worst record in the league for one team against another.

Bosh’s Heroics Lift Miami Past Charlotte, 99-98

MIAMI — Chris Bosh scored 13 straight points for Miami in the final minutes, including a trio of 3-pointers that capped a late rally, and the Heat found a way to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-98 on Sunday night to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

Bosh’s three 3s came in a 79-second span, the last of them putting Miami up 93-91 with 1:20 left.

LeBron James led the Heat with 26 points, Bosh finished with 22, Dwyane Wade scored 17 and Mario Chalmers added 12 for Miami, which has beaten the Bobcats 14 straight times.

Kemba Walker scored 27 points for the Bobcats, who had led the entire second half until Bosh’s barrage. Gerald Henderson scored 17, and Al Jefferson finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte.

Rookie Schroder Lifts Hawks Past Bobcats, 87-85

ASHEVILLE – Rookie guard Dennis Schroder scored on a runner with 2.1 seconds left to lift the Atlanta Hawks to an 87-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in a preseason game Tuesday night.

Mike Scott scored 19 points, Kyle Korver 14 and DeMarre Carroll 12 for the Hawks, who led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter.

Ramon Sessions had 17 points and Kemba Walker 12 for Charlotte, which overcame 36.8 percent shooting to lead twice in the fourth quarter, the last at 79-77 on Jannero Pargo’s 3-pointer with 4:04 remaining.

Sessions tied the game 85-all on a free throw with 43.7 seconds left, but missed the second shot. Pargo then missed a 3 with 18 seconds left that would have put the Bobcats ahead.

After Schroder gave Atlanta the lead, Pargo bounced another 3 off the back of the rim at the buzzer.

Bobcats Thrilled With Rookie Cody Zeller’s Play

ASHEVILLE – Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says he needs rookie Cody Zeller to play well in order for his team to improve.

At the same time Clifford wants the 7-footer to ease into his NBA career and not feel the weight of expectations of a player picked fourth overall in this past summer’s draft.

Finding common ground between those two extremes will likely be a season-long work in progress for the new coach and his new player.

After Zeller’s strong showing in the NBA’s Summer League and an impressive first week of training camp, Clifford is convinced he has a power forward that can help the Bobcats for a long time.

But Clifford says it will be a process, joking that, “He’s so young, he’s still learning the rules.”

Bobcats Coach Clifford Says Rebounding A Concern

CHARLOTTE – Bobcats first-year coach Steve Clifford says despite adding two big men this offseason, rebounding remains his biggest concern entering training camp.

Charlotte made a splash signing free agent center Al Jefferson to a $40.5 million contract and drafting 7-foot forward Cody Zeller fourth overall. But Clifford says the Bobcats only have two proven rebounders – Jefferson and small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, last year’s No. 2 overall pick.

Clifford says “other than that we don’t have guys that have been even average with any consistency.”

So while Clifford says the Bobcats’ overall talent this year is significantly better “The bottom line is this: We can get a lot better on offense and a lot better on defense, but if we don’t get a lot better rebounding it may not matter.”

Bobcats Feel They’re Headed In Right Direction

CHARLOTTE – Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins isn’t predicting how games his team will win this season. He does expect Charlotte will be “much improved” over last season.

That won’t take much.

The Bobcats finished 21-61 last season – the second-worst record in the NBA.

Higgins and general manager Rich Cho say they’re excited about the upcoming season following the addition of free agent center Al Jefferson and rookie draft pick Cody Zeller, as well as the hiring of new coach Steve Clifford.

Higgins said Tuesday the Bobcats had excellent turnout for summer workouts and “by the way the coach and staff is working right now, they’re going to have high optimism. So we’ll see how it plays out.”

The Bobcats open training camp next Tuesday in Asheville, N.C.

Bobcats Select Indiana C Zeller With No. 4 Pick

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Charlotte Bobcats have selected Indiana center Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft.

Bobcats general manager Rich Cho said earlier in the week the Bobcats needed a big man and the 7-foot, 240-pound Zeller should provide help on the boards.

Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds last season as a sophomore for the Hoosiers. He finished as Indiana’s career record holder in field goal percentage, shooting 59.1 percent from the floor.

Two Hoosiers were picked in the top four in the draft. Victor Oladipo was selected second overall by Orlando.

Charlotte is 28-120 over the past two seasons and has never won a playoff game.

The Bobcats chose Zeller over two other available centers – Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel and Maryland’s Alex Len.