Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/26/13
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It was the most bizarre play of the Charlotte Bobcats' season, and it resulted in the most bizarre victory of the year. Gerald Henderson's desperation 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer with 4.6 seconds remaining, after a series of thrills and spills during the possession, gave the Bobcats a 102-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night. It enabled the Bobcats to snap a 16-game home losing streak in Time Warner Cable Arena and left everyone who saw the play unfold shaking their heads in amazement. "That was just a crazy play," Henderson said afterward. "It was just one of those fluke things," Minnesota acting coach Terry Porter said. The Bobcats trailed 101-99 after Ricky Rubio's driving layup with 29.2 seconds left. Kemba Walker tried to penetrate, then kicked the ball out to Henderson. Henderson got the ball knocked away as he started to drive, and Bismack Biyombo came up with the loose ball. Biyombo then got the ball knocked out of his hands, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist saved the ball from going out of bounds. It bounced off J.J. Barea's foot and into the backcourt, where Walker outran Barea for the loose ball. Walker wheeled and turned, with the shot clock winding down, and found Henderson about 30 feet from the basket on the left side. Henderson pump-faked Andrei Kirilenko into the air, then wound up swishing a 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring. A crowd of 15,397 erupted. "It was probably about 30 feet or so -- well within my range," Henderson said with a smile. "I saw the clock all the way. When Kemba grabbed the ball there were five seconds, so I knew I had some time. And I just threw it up there. Once it got almost to the rim I thought it had a pretty good chance because it was on a good line, and when it went through it was pretty cool." Walker said, "Man, I didn't think he had time to get it off, especially after the pump-fake. But he did. He took his time, had a chance to gather himself, and he shot it with confidence." The Bobcats then came up with a defensive stop in the final 4.6 seconds as Barea couldn't get a shot off after trying to drive against Walker. The bizarre final sequence came after the Bobcats fought back from an 18-point deficit in the first quarter but then blew an eight-point lead of their own in the fourth quarter. They had not won at home since a Nov. 21 victory over Toronto and were just three losses shy of the NBA record for most consecutive home-court losses. The Bobcats (11-32) had lost eight of nine overall coming into Saturday night. "The fans were really, really important for us," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "It's been a long time since we gave them an effort like that. I think they appreciated the effort. "What happened tonight is they saw there was a group that was playing hard and they jump-started us and then we found a groove, and that was fun. When Gerald hit that shot, it was beautiful. It was fortuitous. But a lot of times when you work hard, you can make that kind of shot. You're not going to get anything like that unless you're playing hard." Walker led the Bobcats with 25 points, Ramon Sessions scored 23, Ben Gordon 18 and Henderson 15 on a night when Charlotte played three guards most of the game and even a four-guard lineup in stretches. The Bobcats also got 10 points and 13 rebounds from Biyombo. Minnesota (17-24) lost its fourth straight and ninth in the last 10 games. The Timberwolves suited up only 10 players and were missing Chase Budinger, Kevin Love, Malcolm Lee, Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy and Alexey Shved. And coach Rick Adelman missed his 11th straight game to be with his ailing wife. Luke Ridnour led the Timberwolves with 22 points. Barea scored 19, Rubio 14, Greg Stiemsma 11 and Kirilenko 10. NOTES: The Bobcats won the previous meeting between the teams 89-87 in Minneapolis on Nov. 14, when Walker hit a jumper with 0.7 of a second left for the winner. ... Budinger missed his 35th straight game with a lateral meniscus tear and is out indefinitely. Love is expected to be sidelined 8-10 week after surgery to repair the third and fourth metacarpals in his right hand. Roy missed his 36th straight game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is out indefinitely. Pekovic missed his fifth straight game because of a right thigh contusion. Shved missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Lee is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right knee on Jan. 14 and his right hip on Jan. 16. ... The NBA record for most consecutive home losses is 19, set by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks. ... Byron Mullens missed his 16th straight game for the Bobcats with a sprained left ankle. There is no timetable for his return. ... The Timberwolves will return home to face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. ... The Bobcats closed a four-game homestand on Saturday night and head out on a five-game road trip, starting Monday at Chicago.
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