CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Although the Charlotte Bobcats have been eliminated from playoff contention, Kemba Walker believes the young team can still take something from the season’s final 16 games.
Most notably learning how to win close games like Monday night.
Gerald Henderson had 27 points and Walker came up with a flurry of big plays in the closing minutes helping the Bobcats overcome a five-point deficit and beat Washington 119-114 to snap the Wizards‘ three-game win streak.
Walker scored nine of his 18 points in the final three minutes, sparking a 12-0 Charlotte run.
The Bobcats had lost nine games this season in which they led at some point in the fourth quarter, a number Walker would like to see improve.
“We had a lot of games that we probably should have won in the fourth quarter,” Walker said. “But you know it’s a part of growing and it’s a part of rebuilding. Tonight I think we took a huge step. Being down five points and sticking with each other and being able to win.”
Walker shot 8 of 14 from the field and had seven assists.
Henderson, who came in averaging 22.5 points over his previous five games, was 8 of 16 from the field and 10 of 11 on free throws. He also tied a career high with eight assists and his 3-pointer with 55 seconds left ultimately sealed the victory.
Ben Gordon had 19 points and Josh McRoberts added 17 for Charlotte.
The Wizards appeared ready to finish off the Bobcats after taking a 111-106 lead with 3:14 left on Trevor Booker’s alley-oop dunk off a perfect pass from Wall.
But that’s when Walker took over.
The 6-foot-1 point guard drove to the lane and put the ball in off the glass to cut the lead to three. Following a Washington turnover on an inbounds pass, Gordon knocked down a 3-pointer of an assist from Walker to tie the score.
Walker then converted a 12-foot bank shot to put the Bobcats up by two.