Walker comes up big to lead Bobcats past Warriors

John Delong, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It took a lot to outgun Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry on Monday night, but point guard Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats were up to the challenge.
Walker scored 31 points and made key play after key play down the stretch, as the Bobcats outlasted Curry and the Warriors 115-111.
Twenty-seven of Walker's points came in the second half, including 15 in the fourth quarter and six in the final 25 seconds -- all from the free-throw line.
Curry, a Charlotte native in his annual homecoming game, finished with 43 points, including Golden State's final 15 of the game.
"All I was thinking about was the W," Walker, the Bobcats' third-year point guard, said. "I kinda got it going down the stretch. Every basket, we needed, so I was trying to step up and I was very fortunate to make it. I am trying to pick my spots and tonight I was the guy to go to. I was feeling good offensively and I just wanted to make shots to help us win the game."
Walker finished 10 of 18 from the field, 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, and had two 3-pointers. He also finished with five rebounds, five assists, and did the playmaking on a night when the Bobcats committed only seven turnovers.
"He got going," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. "Listen, he's an A-1 competitor, and that's a well-rounded game he played, because his defense was tenacious, I don't care how many Curry got. He played a great game.
The win was the Bobcats' second straight and moved them to 10-11. It was also their second straight game of piling up their highest point total of the season; they had scored a season-high 105 in a win over Philadelphia last Friday.
Guard Gerald Henderson added a season-high 24 points, including 14 in the first half when the Bobcats pulled out to a 53-41 halftime lead.
The Bobcats eventually led by as many as 15 in the second half before Golden State rallied to tie the game at 88-88, only to see the Bobcats pull back away with a 12-2 spurt for a 100-90 lead.
"I think the biggest thing was, they came back -- we've had games where they come back -- and then tonight we made the plays to win the game," Clifford said.
Charlotte also got 13 points from guard Ramon Sessions, 12 points from guard Ben Gordon, 11 points and 10 rebounds from forward Josh McRoberts, and 11 points from center Al Jefferson.
Curry's 43 points were a season high, but still well off his career high of 54. He needed 32 shots to do it, going 14 of 32 from the field and five of 16 from 3-point range.
"We weren't focused in the first half, and that set the tone for the whole game," Curry said. "It's tough to get down on the road and come back. It's disappointing to come here and not get the win."
The Warriors fell to 12-10.
"We need to play our brand of basketball," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "That's what we need bad. We need to be true to our identity right now. We are not and because of that we haven't put together a great run. We're going to be fine, but we can't continue to talk about it, we need results."
Guard Klay Thompson finished with 22, forward David Lee had 14 points and 16 rebounds, and forward Harrison Barnes scored 14.
NOTES: It was a game between teams plagued by injuries. The Bobcats were without F Jeffery Taylor (left heel contusion), C Bismack Biyombo (right ankle sprain), F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (fractured left hand) and C Brendan Haywood (stress fracture left foot). The Warriors were without F Andre Iguodala (strained left hamstring), C Ognjen Kuzmic (fractured right hand) and C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery), and G Toney Douglas (stress reaction, left tibia) played just two minutes. ... Warriors G Stephen Curry‘s father, Dell, is the Bobcats' television analyst. ... The Warriors were playing their 14th road game of the season on Monday night, which is the most of any team in the league. They've played only eight home games so far. ... The Warriors lead the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage at .427 and are threatening the NBA record of .428 set by the 1996-97 Charlotte Hornets, who featured Dell Curry. Golden State was 11 of 37 from 3-point range on Monday. ... Stephen Curry became the Warriors' all-time 3-point leader with his 701st career triple on Saturday at Memphis. He passed Jason Richardson. ... The Bobcats will remain home to face Orlando on Wednesday. ... The Warriors will return home to face Dallas on Wednesday.

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