Coach Mike Dunlap's team came into that game with a focus that has seemingly been absent for most of the season. They jumped all over the Magic from the opening tip, getting out to a 37-27 first quarter lead. They took a 20 point lead into halftime behind the double figure scoring of Byron Mullens (14 pts) and Gerald Henderson (12pts).
In the second half the Bobcats struggled to maintain their lead and allowed the Magic to get within one point with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Dunlap was able to rally his troops and get them to finish off the Magic 105-92, carried by his young dynamic trio of Mullens (20 pts 12 rebs), Henderson (24 pts 10 rebs) and Kemba Walker who ended his day with 24 points and seven assists.
In less than 24 hours the Bobcats were home to face the Detroit Pistons and found themselves in a dog fight that ended in a 105-99 loss. The quick start from the night before was apparently left on the tarmac in Orlando because with only three minutes gone by, Detroit was up 12-4 and causing coach Dunlap to burn his first timeout to get his team back on track.
Charlotte cleared the cobwebs and kept things close in the first quarter behind the sharp shooting of Ramon Sessions and his 11 points off the bench. Jeff Adrien, the D-League call up and Dunlap favorite supplied a second quarter spark off the bench with timely rebounds and a couple of big 12-foot jump shots to give the Bobcats a 56-55 halftime lead.
In the third quarter the Pistons kept pace with Charlotte behind second year guard Brandon Knight scoring eight of his team high 21 points. Knight, who was taken with the eighth pick in the 2011 draft between Bismack Biyombo (7th) and Walker (9th) opted for the deep ball as his weapon of choice, hitting two big three-pointers to give his team a one point advantage going in the fourth.
The final period proved to be a microcosm of the season for the Bobcats. They did a lot of things good enough to pull out a victory but they did enough bad things to ensure that that would not happen. Walker was a prime example; his 24 points led his team for the second night in a row but his five turnovers to only three assists put Charlotte in a compromising position. Biyombo who is known for his defensive presence, did his team no favors by posing no offensive threat and avoiding the scoring column all together (0 pts 8 rebs 1 blk).
Ben Gordon who may or may not be in a Bobcat uniform after the trade deadline, only saw 10 minutes of action and scored five points. The team has a good nucleus of players but youth and the inability to consistently find ways to win down the stretch is what is keeping them out of the playoff picture.
Two things are for certain, they play hard and compete every night. Once everything else comes together this team could be something special to watch.