NBA scores: Bobcats' inexperience costs them late against Knicks

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks stole a game on Wednesday due to some critical mistakes down the stretch by the Charlotte Bobcats. Here's your complete NBA scores roundup.

Knicks 100, Bobcats 98

First of all, if you haven't seen how J.R. Smith ended this game, click here. That was one of the most J.R. Smith sequences of all time.

More to the point: while this was yet another late-game collapse by the Charlotte Bobcats, I don't think their fans should beat themselves up. A couple years ago, Scott Brooks' Oklahoma City Thunder were in D.C. to face the Wizards, and he was asked about how he managed to build up a young team slowly. His answer was that, at least initially, he vigorously stressed the importance of avoiding blowouts. If they played a more experienced team close and lost because of poor execution down the stretch, he could live with that.

I suspect Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap will similarly live with this result. The Bobcats lost this game because of four critical errors late, three of which involved their three youngest key players. Let's take a look.

ERROR 1: Down two and without Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks run a high pick and roll involving Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler. The first order of business for the big man defending this play is to contain the ball. Instead, Bismack Biyombo, fearing a pass to the rolling Chandler, sticks with him, ushering Felton's path down the lane for the game-tying layup.

Biyombo_1_medium

ERROR 2: You have to appreciate Kemba Walker's aggression, but he has to realize that there's no way he can split this pick and roll in this spot.

Kemba_walker_medium

ERROR 3: Ben Gordon commits a horrible travel after receiving a kick-out pass. It was so ugly that there's no need to show it.

ERROR 4: This is the one that ultimately cost them the game. The Bobcats get a rebound off a Knicks miss with a chance to run the clock all the way down. Out of timeouts, they pitch it ahead to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to see if they can get anything easy. (Sidenote: I wish more teams did this). Kidd-Gilchrist finds nothing and picked up his dribble, which was bad, but understandable.

The problem? Neither guard comes to the ball to help Kidd-Gilchrist. Look at this screenshot.

Final_bobcats_play_medium

Walker and Gerald Henderson are circled. Walker sorta tries to get to Kidd-Gilchrist, but Felton denies him the ball and he quit. Henderson, meanwhile, saunters over to the middle of the floor instead of going in a straight line towards Kidd-Gilchrist. It's no wonder that Kidd-Gilchrist has to throw a crosscourt pass that got intercepted.

Bobcats_final_play_2_medium

And that's how Charlotte lost the game down the stretch.

The good news is that three of these four mistakes were made by players with less than 82 full games under their belts. Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Biyombo will learn to make better decisions late in games. Henderson, too, is a young player in just his fourth season. Once they do, the Bobcats will continue their rise from being the worst team in NBA history.

Lakers 103, Hornets 87

The big story is that Kobe Bryant notched his 30,000th career point. The bigger story: outside of this one possession where Bryant called for the ball and eventually took a horrible contested three, he didn't really kill the Lakers' flow to get his milestone.

Kobe_call_ball_medium

Here's the bucket that got Bryant over 30,000. It ... actually came thanks to a normal play.

Kobe30kpts

As for the rest of the game, there's no need to overthink this. The Hornets without Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon stink, and that showed in the third quarter when the Lakers took control of the game.

Hawks 108, Nuggets 104

Ty Lawson in the first 46 and a half minutes was unbelievable. Ty Lawson in the final minute and a half? Not so much.

Ty-lawson-fail-h

It's too bad. Watching the Nuggets, you can tell that Lawson is trying to assert himself as more of an offensive threat. He's gobbled up more shots, and while his efficiency is down, the Nuggets need him to do that. In this game, he scored 32 points while helping to hold counterpart Jeff Teague to a 4-16 performance. He just keeps coming up short at the end of games. You'd think that'll eventually change, but for now, it's depressing.

Al Horford had 25 and 12 for Atlanta in the win. He is a monster. Meanwhile, the Nuggets probably would have won if they didn't commit 20 turnovers.

Clippers 112, Mavericks 90

Yup, this was a dunk party. When one team has the best pick and roll combination in the league and the other team tries to stop it with Derek Fisher and Elton Brand, dunk parties will happen.

Celtics 104, Timberwolves 94

In many ways, this was the best performance of the season for the Celtics. They played a decent team at home that they still should beat, and they got a complete effort from every key player in making it happen. Kevin Garnett led the way with 18 points, 10 rebounds and one huge lie during the postgame interview session.

Spurs 110, Bucks 98

This was a close game for two and a half quarters. Then, the Spurs' bench unit that nearly toppled Miami came in and did their thing. The Bucks have a very good second unit of their own, but on this night, they didn't come through.

Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings combined to shoot 10-34 from the field. These things will happen.

Kings 107, Raptors 100

This is how bad things have gotten for the Raptors. With the game tied at 95 with two and a half minutes remaining, Tyreke Evans, who came into the game shooting 25 percent from three-point range, nailed a long bomb. On the very next possession, Evans did the exact same thing. Some higher power just doesn't want the Raptors to win any close games.

Pacers 99, Blazers 92

It wasn't pretty, but the Pacers got the job done. How many times have we read that sentence this year?

Paul George followed up his 34-point performance with a 22-8-5 line. This long-rumored emergence? It's happening.

Jazz 97, Magic 91

It would have been really impressive if the Magic beat the Lakers, Warriors and Jazz in succession on the road, and thanks to a late rally, it nearly happened. But Al Jefferson and the Jazz were just too much late, and the Magic had to settle for two wins and one more victory.

Warriors 104, Pistons 97

This one got way more interesting than it needed to be in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors will take it. Golden State's starting backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson scored 49 points on 16-28 shooting. Detroit's starting backcourt of Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler scored seven points on 2-15 shooting.

Bulls 95, Cavaliers 85

Marco Belinelli led all scorers with 23 points. I think that's all we really need to say about this game.

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