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Bobcats 111, 76ers 105

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Center Al Jefferson scored 29 points and the Charlotte Bobcats clamped down defensively in the second half of a 111-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Jefferson added 12 rebounds and three assists for his sixth consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound effort and his seventh straight double-double, which is the third longest double-double streak in Bobcats history.

Jefferson, who has been the focal point of a full-court press for All-NBA recognition by the Bobcats, paced Charlotte early, knocking down seven of his first nine shots from the field and scoring 21 of his 29 in the first half.

Bobcats point guard Luke Ridnour got the start for the second straight game with starter Kemba Walker out while nursing a groin injury. Ridnour filled in with a strong effort, contributing 12 points and eight assists.

All nine Charlotte players who saw action scored and seven reached double figures. Gerald Henderson filled out the stat sheet for the Bobcats with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams scored 23 points, including 10 from the free-throw line, and added eight assists to continue his push for NBA Rookie of the Year consideration.

The Sixers had six players score in double figures, including Thaddeus Young with 14 points but on 8-of-22 shooting from the field.

For the second game in as many nights, the Bobcats faced a lottery-bound team in the Eastern Conference. But a strong defensive effort in the second half resulted in a different outcome than the 106-103 loss on Friday in Boston.

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford expressed confidence his team would play better defensively before the game, but at halftime Philadelphia was shooting 52 percent from the field and leading 59-56.

The Bobcats locked down defensively in the second half, outscoring the Sixers 55-46 and holding Philadelphia to 36 percent shooting from the field during the span. It was the seventh time in the last 11 games that the Bobcats have scored 100 points or more, with five of those seven resulting in wins.

The win pushed the Bobcats’ record to 41-39 overall and 6-1 in the last seven games. The victory also was Charlotte’s 24th at home, the second most in franchise history. Thirteen of those have come in the last 15 games.

With the loss, Philadelphia is 17-63 and has lost six of its last seven since snapping a NBA-record-tying 26-game losing streak.

NOTES: The Bobcats entered Saturday’s game against Philadelphia as winners of 12 of their last 14 games at home. … Charlotte is 5-1 in their last six games as it jockeys for position with Washington for sixth and seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. The Wizards hold a one-game advantage for sixth-place, but the Bobcats hold the tiebreaker should both teams finish with identical records. … The Bobcats’ rookie coach, Steve Clifford, applauded the work of his friend Brett Brown, who is in his first year leading the 76ers. “The thing that stands out to me, when you have a season like that, the No. 1 thing you have to try to do is get them to try every night,” Clifford said before the game. The 76ers have gone 2-4 in their last six games after tying the NBA record for consecutive losses at 26-straight. Clifford added things aren’t as dire as they seem in Philadelphia. “If you look at their scores over the last four or five weeks, they’re in every game. And then when you watch them play, it’s their energy level and their effort. He’s done a remarkable job.” … Charlotte will play its final two games before the franchise begins its second-ever NBA Playoff run. The Bobcats play at Atlanta on Monday and closes the regular season at home against Chicago on Wednesday. … Philadelphia will play the Celtics in Boston on Monday and close the year at first-place Miami on Wednesday.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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