The fans at Time Warner Cable Arena were treated to a good old fashion shootout on Monday night and there were shots fired from all directions. Riding in from the west was Billy the Kid played by Stephen Curry and the hometown hero Jesse James was played by Kemba Walker.
As the game got under way the Charlotte Bobcats used some stifling defense to take an early 15-6 lead over the visiting Golden State Warriors. Charlotte had one of its best defensive first halves of the season, holding the Warriors to 35 percent shooting (15-for-43) from the floor and eight percent (1-for-12) from the three-point line to take a 53-41 lead at the break.
"I thought the defense we played in the first half was the best we've played all year" head coach Steve Clifford said, "the job that our perimeter guys did chasing Curry and Klay Thompson off the three-point line was phenomenal."
Nicknamed the "Splash Brothers" because of their ability to hit deep three's from all over the floor, Curry and Thompson were a combined 0-8 from behind the arc in the first half. It was even more impressive considering that the Bobcats were without two of there best wing players due to injury in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (broken hand) and Jeffrey Taylor (left heel contusion).
You can count on one thing for certain when dealing with gunslingers, that is the fact that they never stop shooting and in the third quarter Thompson and Curry were locked and loaded. Combining for 6 of 10 three-pointers in the period, the "Splash Brothers" helped cut the halftime deficit to six as the Bobcats clung to a 83-77 lead heading into the fourth.
As the final stanza began, the scene was set for Billy the Kid and Jesse James to take ten paces and draw. Curry who scored 32 of his 43 points in the second half shot first and shot often, netting 19 of those points in the fourth quarter. Walker, not to be outdone scored 15 of his team-high 31 points in the final period.
"It's fun to guard Steph" Walker said after the game, "he's one of the best guards in the league and he had me chasing him all over the place" he continued, "but all I kept thinking was that we needed this win and somehow we came out on top."
Walker supplied the 'somehow' when he scored the final 15 points for the Bobcats to close the door on Golden State, including four huge free-throws that Charlotte absolutely had to have in the final seconds. "They were clamping down on Al (Jefferson) in the fourth and shots weren't going down for Gerald (Henderson) so I just took it upon myself to bring it home for us and it worked out" Walker added.
Henderson who celebrated his 26th birthday had another great performance with a season-high 24 points on the night, his tenth straight game in double figures. Charlotte for a second consecutive game had six players finish in double figures. Ramon Sessions (13), Ben Gordon (12), Al Jefferson (11) and Josh McRoberts (11) all helped supply the much-needed firepower to withstand a barrage of baskets Golden State was able to knock down in the second half.
Thompson finished the game with 22 points for the Warriors on 9-19 shooting while Harrison Barnes and David Lee added 14 points each. Lee also had a game high 16 rebounds on the evening.
Charlotte will now get ready to host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night while Golden State heads home to get ready for the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.