Charlotte Bobcats 89, Boston Celtics 83

Charlotte Bobcats’ Al Jefferson is money against Boston Celtics

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.comNovember 13, 2013 

  • More information BOBCATS 89, CELTICS 83
    CharlotteMINFG-AFT-AOR-TRAFPt
    Kidd-Gilchrist27:393-60-00-3166
    Tolliver25:383-72-20-11311
    Jefferson32:598-176-62-113322
    Walker34:071-131-22-9213
    Henderson34:365-143-53-95213
    Taylor29:234-84-40-11212
    Zeller22:222-74-44-9218
    Biyombo15:012-30-01-4024
    Sessions18:152-76-70-31010
    Totals240:0030-8226-3012-50162089
    Percentages: FG .366, FT .867. Three-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Tolliver 3-6, Taylor 0-1, Sessions 0-2, Walker 0-3). Team Rebounds: 12. Team Turnovers: 12 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Jefferson 2, Biyombo, Tolliver, Zeller). Turnovers: 11 (Zeller 3, Henderson 2, Kidd-Gilchrist 2, Walker 2, Jefferson, Tolliver). Steals: 8 (Walker 3, Zeller 2, Henderson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Tolliver). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 6:23 third.
    BostonMINFG-AFT-AOR-TRAFPt
    Green31:587-134-70-10319
    Bass27:052-93-31-8247
    Olynyk33:171-44-43-11446
    Bradley22:553-80-00-3057
    Crawford35:226-154-51-56316
    Wallace32:134-70-02-82110
    Faverani22:022-82-43-9137
    Lee14:174-80-00-00210
    Pressey11:040-40-00-0010
    Humphries9:470-11-20-0001
    Totals240:0029-7718-2510-45152683
    Percentages: FG .377, FT .720. Three-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Wallace 2-3, Lee 2-4, Bradley 1-2, Faverani 1-2, Green 1-5, Pressey 0-1, Crawford 0-2, Olynyk 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 15 (17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Bass, Faverani). Turnovers: 15 (Olynyk 4, Faverani 3, Crawford 2, Wallace 2, Bradley, Green, Lee, Pressey). Steals: 5 (Crawford 2, Wallace 2, Bradley). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 3:18 second.
    Charlotte2724201889
    Boston2122211983
    Att.—17,032 (18,624). T—2:21. Officials—Mike Callahan, Violet Palmer, Courtney Kirkland.

— This is what $41 million over three years buys:

Wednesday it purchased 22 points and 11 rebounds. And three assists and six trips to the foul line. And a put-back of a Kemba Walker miss with 17.7 seconds left by center Al Jefferson that pretty much settled the Charlotte Bobcats’ 89-83 victory against the Boston Celtics.

Jefferson, the Bobcats’ high-cost/high-profile free-agent acquisition, finally looked like himself after weeks of on-again, off-again ankle problems. He was winded after this game but elated.

Why? Because since leaving the Celtics, the team that drafted him, following the 2006-07 season, Jefferson never beat the Celtics in stops with Minnesota and Utah.

“Don’t tell me how many years it’s been – you’ll make me feel old,” Jefferson joked postgame.

Then he admitted, “I’m tired, man – I’ve got to get my (butt) in shape!”

But even in his current condition, he made a huge difference on a night when the Bobcats (4-4) won despite shooting 37 percent from the field.

Winning on the road is often about setting a tempo in the first quarter. Jefferson did just that by hitting three of his first four shots for eight points. The first-half lead grew as high as 16 before some brutal second-half shooting (31 percent) kept this one close down the stretch.

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford knew he was getting something good when the franchise signed Jefferson in July. Clifford likes the move more now than he did then.

“He’s a clinic in the low post – balance, footwork and touch,” Clifford said. “And his defense is better than he’s been given credit for.”

Just as important, the Bobcats are starting to figure how to use him. Jefferson said the “connection” between him and his teammates was dramatically better Wednesday than it was in Monday’s home loss to the Atlanta Hawks, his first game back from a five-game injury absence.

“Our spacing was a lot better today around him, and we’re beginning to find him in the right spots,” Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson said. “He’s obviously really good when we put him in position to do what he did tonight.”

They needed everything Jefferson could provide because the backcourt of Henderson and Walker shot brutally: Henderson was 5-of-14 from the field (though he hit both free throws off Boston’s intentional foul with 11 seconds left). Walker was 1-of-13.

Walker’s shooting in the four games since hurting his left shoulder in a road victory against the New York Knicks is 14-of-59 (23.7 percent).

“He hasn’t shot the ball well (since the injury), but he says he does what he has to do (in terms of treatment) to play,” said Clifford of Walker.

This Bobcats do two things consistently well: play half-court defense (the Celtics shot 38 percent) and get to the foul line (30 free throws Wednesday). Add Jefferson in the low post to that formula and they just might have something.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service