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Chris Douglas-Roberts, 'Booty Call' haircut and all, hits dagger to push Bobcats past Nets (Video)

With the eyes of the NBA world locked on Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night, another intriguing Eastern Conference battle was unfolding at Time Warner Cable Arena in North Carolina. The Brooklyn Nets, who came into Wednesday two games behind the Chicago Bulls for the No. 4 seed in the East and were finishing off a three-game road trip coming off consecutive overtimes in Dallas (where Joe Johnson saved the day) and New Orleans (where they blew a 22-point second-half lead to Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans and company), found themselves in a scrap with a Charlotte Bobcats team that had lost three of four and looked to be seeing its chances of overtaking the Washington Wizards for the East's No. 6 seed — which would mean avoiding the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat in Round 1 — slipping away.

Brooklyn carried the action early, thanks to an explosive 18-point opening quarter from point guard Deron Williams; Charlotte got back into it thanks in large part to noted shop-wrecker Al Jefferson, whose low-post mastery has reached a level where, as Nets forward Paul Pierce told reporters Wednesday, "No one on the planet can guard him." (Not even when they kick him in the face.)

The back-and-forth action made for a fun watch and a tight game late in the fourth, one that swung from a potential regulation Nets win to a third straight OT road game (a Nets franchise record, and just the third time in NBA history that's happened) because D-Will's kicks were just a smidge too big. When the refs ruled Williams' jumper a 2-pointer rather than a 3 to keep things knotted up at 105 late in the fourth quarter, Charlotte got a little bit lucky; holding a three-point lead in the final minute of overtime, fortune once again favored Steve Clifford's bold group of Bobcats, and especially reclamation project wing Chris Douglas-Roberts:

With Charlotte up 114-111 and less than 20 seconds remaining in the game, Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts — who had an in-traffic reverse throwdown in this game that merits a few seconds of your time, by the way — took a feed from point guard Kemba Walker, saw the Nets' defense part before his very eyes, and made a beeline for the bucket. As he elevated for a layup, Brooklyn rookie Mason Plumlee — the team's defensive back-line stopper and rim protector in the absence of injured bigs Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett — rotated over and swatted his attempt in what looked to be a play that would keep the Nets just one possession away, within striking distance of tying and extending the game.

“Everybody executed and did what they were supposed to do,” Nets head coach Jason Kidd said after the game, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “The ball just bounced their way.”

Specifically, it bounced right to Douglas-Roberts, who caught the ball off Plumlee's rejection while camped out in the left corner. With no time to hesitate before the 24-second clock expired, the swingman hoisted a jumper over the outstretched arms of a hard-charging Johnson; the end-of-possession prayer was answered, giving Charlotte a five-point lead with 10.1 seconds remaining in OT. The Cats would hang on for a 116-111 win, bringing them within a game and a half of the sixth-seeded Wizards (who lost to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday), thanks in large part to that very timely bit of shot-making from CDR, who was ready when his number was called. From Rick Bonnell wrote for the Charlotte Observer:

Douglas-Roberts got almost 27 minutes Wednesday, in part because the Bobcats are shutting down Gary Neal until his ankle and knee injuries improve. Coach Steve Clifford said the beauty of Douglas-Roberts is he’s the same reliable guy whether he’s playing six minutes or 24 on a given night.
“I wouldn’t say it’s hard, because I’m prepared,” Douglas-Roberts said. “That comes from trusting in work.” [...]
“I love being on the floor with Al,” Douglas-Roberts said. “They were leaving me in the corner (to double-team Jefferson) and I’ve got to make that shot.”

The make capped a strong night — 16 points on 6 for 14 shooting, 3 for 8 from 3-point land, five rebounds and two assists in nearly 27 minutes — for Douglas-Roberts, whom the then-New Jersey Nets selected out of Memphis in the second round in the 2008 draft. The 6-foot-7 wing spent two seasons in Jersey before being shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks for a 2012 second-round draft pick; after one largely undistinguished season for a largely indistinguishable 35-47 Bucks team, CDR went overseas to play for Virtus Bologna of Italy's Serie A. He spent one year in Italy before coming back in search of an NBA gig that had proven elusive — brief stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, but nothing beyond training camp look-sees or 10-day deals — before the Bobcats added him in mid-December.

He's been a nice addition in a limited role, averaging just under 12 points, 4.5 rebounds and two assists per 36 minutes of floor time, and getting points by either running the floor in transition or serving as a spot-up shooter taking advantage of all the attention defenses must pay Big Al and Walker. His size and wingspan provides some defensive versatility on the wing for Clifford, and if Neal's leg woes persist, Douglas-Roberts figures to get a real opportunity down the stretch to earn big minutes in Charlotte's rotation come the postseason. He's on a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, so whether he'll stick around in the Queen City as the franchise transitions back to the Hornets remains an open question, but the chances of the well-traveled 27-year-old finding another NBA home next season get better and better every time he turns in a performance like the one we saw Wednesday.

And yet, even on a night where CDR shined, his (shall we say) unique personal style still caught some shade, courtesy of NBA TV guest commentator Baron Davis and Turner Sports stalwart Chris Webber:

"The 'Booty Call' haircut" to which Baron's referring is all-too-familiar to those of us who watched way too much cable in the 1990s — it's Jamie Foxx's locks from the 1997 vehicle that (we're sure) made studio executives see him as a surefire future Academy Award winner:

View photo

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Twinsies? (Photos via parentdish.ca, Getty Images)

I'll let you decide how closely CDR's style matches that of "Bunz," because I'm certainly not a trained stylist. I'm guessing, though, that Douglas-Roberts — a guy who'll take motivation where he can find it — will store that one away to help fuel the competitive fire as Charlotte gets closer to a .500 record and a locked-up postseason berth. Or, y'know, if he ever runs into Tommy Davidson and needs a conversational icebreaker.

(UPDATE! Douglas-Roberts commented on the commentating via Instagram, saying of the "Booty Call" comparison: "S***s funny what can I say." That's about all you can say, I guess.)

NBA TV video via @cjzero.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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