It was a duel for the ages, a real clash of the titans. Friday night featured two Southeastern division powers going head-to-head. Okay, I'm being dramatic, but it was a pretty fun matchup that wound up living up to the billing. How could it not be fun? You have two young and intriguing teams! Anyway, let's get into it. The Bobcats came out ready to put their stamp on this game from the get-go, jumping out to an 11-2 lead with 8:39 to go in the quarter. Josh McRoberts got going early and rarely cooled off, hitting an early three and finding his teammates for a pair of assists. Charlotte didn't allow the Magic to score from the 11:15 mark until Glen Davis sunk a free throw with 5:20 to go. Thanks to Ramon Sessions' entrance in the game, the Magic finally got going now that they had the break they were looking for. No, really. Arron Afflalo got his jumper going and even Jameer Nelson chipped in. Still, Kemba Walker checked back in and the Bobcats scrapped together a few baskets to finish the first quarter up 30-18. This was going to be an interesting quarter for the Bobcats after they held the Magic scoreless for half of the first but still eventually surrendered 16 points in the final five minutes of the quarter. In the second, the Bobcats continued to stray away from what got them out in front earlier. Their decision-making was questionable and the Magic jumped on their turnovers and lack of defensive rebounding to climb back into the lead. Afflalo eventually tied the game at 47 with his three and Tobias Harris gave them their first lead with less than three minutes to go in the half. However, it was McRoberts who continued to sizzle from three to keep the Bobcats in the game as they wound up trailing at the break 53-51. McRoberts finished the half with three made treys and his 14 points were a career high in the first half. Magic rookie Victor Oladipo was on the triple double watch with 10 points, five rebounds and seven assists after two quarters of play. Considering the team's hot start in the first, their second quarter seemed to be especially disappointing. They gave up way too many easy possessions and were paying the price for it. Yet, the Bobcats would recover and get back to their ways by forcing Orlando to show their youth with needless fouls and turnovers. Charlotte pushed their lead to as many as seven and would finish with a 78-74 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Charlotte tops Orlando 111-101
Rufus On Fire | Jan 18