Jackson, Bobcats rally past Golden State in OT
OAKLAND – All it took was one big shot and Stephen Jackson silenced the shower of boos he left behind in Golden State.
Jackson punctuated his 31 points with a tying 3-pointer in the final second of regulation, and the Charlotte Bobcats rallied past the Warriors 121-113 in overtime Friday night for their third straight victory.
“I just think I had the basketball gods with me,” Jackson said.
And most of the fans against him.
The former Warriors standout who had an ugly divorce from the franchise last season was booed throughout, ignoring that with a 28-footer with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter banked off the glass from the top of the arc. He added seven rebounds, four assists and some big baskets in overtime to help the Bobcats to their fifth win in the last six games.
“It’s not a problem. I love the fans here,” said Jackson, who also had his mother among those in attendance. “They supported me, I had a great time here. The organization was great to me. People can have their own opinions, but I love them anyway. I don’t have any bad blood.”
Stephen Curry had 27 points, and Monta Ellis scored 21 for a Warriors team that blew a 16-point lead and is fading fast during its longest homestand of the season. Golden State has lost four straight games during a stretch of 13 of 14 on its home floor.
“Being young, inexperienced, understanding how important every possession is, you don’t take quick shots or bad shots,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said. “You have to finish plays around the basket.”
Things couldn’t be more different for Charlotte.
The Bobcats continued their surprising turnaround under new coach Paul Silas. They improved to 11-6 since Silas replaced Larry Brown, and at 20-25 they still would sneak into one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
“Not giving up, knowing that you can rise to the occasion. That’s basically what happened,” Silas said. “Since I’ve been here, they have basically not given up. And as long as they do that, it always gives us a chance.”
D.J. Augustin had 27 points and 12 assists, and Boris Diaw scored 13 points for Charlotte. The Bobcats were lethargic for most of the game but got a big lift from the one-time Warrior, Jackson.
The Bobcats took advantage of some missed free throws late by Golden State and perhaps a little luck, too. In a frantic scramble with the clock winding down, Jackson banked in a 3 from the top of the arc that left the home crowd stunned and silenced.
“He just threw it up there, a crazy shot. Nothing you can do there,” said Warriors center Andris Biedrins, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Jackson soaked up every moment of this one.
A season ago, the NBA fined Jackson $25,000 when he went public with a trade demand with Golden State. He then got into a spat with then-coach Don Nelson during an exhibition game, leading to a two-game suspension that cost him about $139,000 in salary. He also relinquished his captain title before being traded to Charlotte, where he led the Bobcats to the playoffs.
This time, he strutted his way back to the Bobcats bench, loving every boo Warriors fans showered upon him. He continued by making his first jumper of overtime, and never relented.
Jackson’s shot capped a big comeback for the Bobcats, who whittled a 16-point deficit down to two late and gave themselves a chance to win. They scored 11 straight to close the third quarter, and were within a basket for most of the fourth – not tying it until Jackson’s shot.
“I think he had a great time tonight,” Augustin said of his teammate’s second return to Golden State. “We all did.”
NOTES: Smart and Jackson go back beyond their days together at Golden State. Smart coached Jackson in the Continental Basketball Association when Jackson was 18 years old. Smart’s team even had a dress code, and he helped Jackson tie his first tie during one road trip. “So we have that kind of bond, and we are very close,” Smart said. … Smart also called Bobcats assistant Stephen Silas, a former Warriors assistant under Smart, “his right hand” when they were together at Golden State. Silas left to join the staff of his father, Paul, after he took over for Brown in Charlotte.