Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson turned up his offense in the fourth quarter to lead his team to a 92-76 home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Jefferson had been among those who detected less team energy at home than on the road. The Bobcats had lost five of their past six in Charlotte.
Jefferson scored 13 of his season-high 23 points in the final period to secure this game. The victory made the Bobcats 8-9; the Bucks lost their 11th straight to fall to 2-13.
Jefferson, who missed large portions of the preseason and the regular-season’s first month, also set a season-high in rebounds with 12.
Shooting guard Gerald Henderson added 19 points for the Bobcats. Bucks point guard Brandon Knight finished with 17 points.
The Bobcats extended a 10-point halftime lead to 16 during the third quarter before entering the fourth quarter up 12. Jefferson got the Bobcats going with six quick points in the third and Henderson added five more on a 3-pointer and two free throws.
The Bobcats led 51-41 at halftime, shooting 58 percent in the first half (though just 1-of-7 from 3-point range). The Bobcats had led by as much 15 before three sloppy possessions late in the second quarter tightened up the margin.
Two significant statistics: The Bobcats outscored the Bucks 26-6 in points in the lane and outrebounded Milwaukee 24-15. Reserve center Bismack Biyombo, who hadn’t played much recently, totaled 12 rebounds in 16 minutes of the first half, topping what had been his season high this season (11).
Biyombo’s career-high in boards entering the game was 17.
The Bobcats bench, in general, whipped up on the Bucks reserves in the first half, outscoring them 28-16. Biyombo, Ramon Sessions, Cody Zeller and Ben Gordon shot a combined 10-of-12 from the field.
Gordon was playing in only his second game this season, in part due to the foot injury that kept small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from playing Friday. Kidd-Gilchrist was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. That’s inflammation along the arch that can be highly painful.
With Kidd-Gilchrist out, Jeff Taylor started at small forward and Gerald Henderson shifted over some from shooting guard to small forward. That opened minutes for Gordon, who had played just nine – all in the blowout loss to the Pelicans in New Orleans.
The Bobcats started out shaky offensively, missing five of their first six shots, but then made 18 of their next 37. Biyombo, not known as an offensive threat, got two dunks by rolling well to the basket for passes.
Henderson led the Bobcats in scoring in the first half with 12 on 5-of-8 shooting.
This completes a three-game homestand for the Bobcats, who play at Miami Sunday and at Dallas Tuesday.
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