The weather was bad and a lot of fans didn’t show up.
But the Charlotte Bobcats and about 1,000 fans (10,188 tickets were officially sold) did arrive at Time Warner Cable Arena on Monday night. Charlotte won its third straight game by easily defeating the (17-21) Memphis Grizzlies.
The Bobcats dominated the Grizzlies in a 96-82 win by doing many of the things former coach Larry Brown could not get them to do like capture loose balls and passing (24 assists).
Charlotte played well on the defensive end too. The (14-21) Bobcats held Memphis to 39 percent shooting, had 10 block shots and forced 16 turnovers. Even though the Grizzlies scored 25 points in the fourth quarter, they scored only eight points through the first six minutes as the Bobcats ran away with the game.
D.J. Augustin also continued to play well under interim coach Paul Silas, is 5-2 since taking over for Brown. Augustin had 18 points, nine assists and four rebounds. Stephen Jackson added 27 points, six rebounds and four assists. And guards Shaun Livingston (eight points and three assists) and Matt Carroll (12 points and two assists) came off the bench to have excellent games.
“I thought our defense was excellent tonight, and we kept them off the boards because they are a great offensive rebounding team,” Silas said. “They had 12 in the first half. That is the only thing that really kept them in the game, but I thought we really contested shots and all of our defensive concepts we did to a great degree, and I thought that was the reason we prevailed.”
Silas said the team’s energy level has continued to increase. He believes if that continues the Bobcats will keep winning games. He notes the Bobcats meeting with the Grizzlies last month was a 33-point loss, but the second contest Charlotte held Memphis to 82 points.
The Bobcats were able to limit Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, who finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds on 7-of-17 shooting from the field. Randolph, who was the Western Conference Player of the Week, averaged 28 points, 14.3 rebounds and 60 percent shooting from the field in the Grizzlies’ last three games.
In addition, Silas said forward Boris Diaw (six points, nine rebounds and four assists) did an excellent job guarding Randolph.
“Tonight, we were mostly concerned with Zach and his post up plays,” Silas said. “And I thought we did a really good job on him. He got some offensive rebounds, but as far as him getting the ball in the key (it didn’t happen) and the other thing prior to me coming, they sent everybody to the middle. Now we are sending everybody baseline and we have to get that concept down. We haven’t totally gotten it down yet.”
Jackson said the win feels good and credits the defense too. He said the win is something to build on with (25-12) Chicago Bulls coming to town Wednesday.
“We didn’t let them run their offense the way they wanted to,” Jackson said. “We got into guys. We got steals (nine). Tyrus (Thomas) was unbelievable when he came in and blocked shots (four). It just made the offense tough, and I think we did that the whole game.”
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