Sessions shines as Bobcats beat Wizards
By Steve Reed ,AP
November 15, 2012, 12:08 am TWN
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap talked throughout the offseason about changing the culture in the organization and building a winning atmosphere in Charlotte.
Apparently his players were listening.
Reserve Ramon Sessions scored 21 points and the Bobcats beat the winless Washington Wizards 92-76 Tuesday night to win back-to-back games for the first time since last December and even their record at 3-3.
With Ben Gordon a late scratch due to a family emergency, Sessions picked up the slack and provided a much-needed boost off the bench for the Bobcats.
Coming off a career-high 25 points against Dallas on Saturday night, rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was strong again, chipping in with 15 points and eight rebounds before leaving in the fourth quarter to ice down a sore back. He said afterward he got hit in the back, but added "I'm fine."
Kemba Walker battled inconsistent shooting and finished with 17 points for the Bobcats.
It marked the first time the Bobcats have won two straight since taking the final game of the 2010-11 season and the first of last season.
The victory was especially sweet for Walker, who went through an entire rookie season without winning back-to-back games.
"You know, to get this win was huge and it gives us momentum, gives us confidence going into that game tomorrow against a good Minnesota team," Walker said.
Trevor Ariza scored 19 points for the Wizards, who fell to 0-6. He was the only Washington player to finish in double digits in scoring.
The Bobcats (3-3) limited the Wizards to 29.8-percent shooting and outscored them 46-24 in the paint.
Most of those came on drives to the hole by Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Sessions, who were a combined 15 of 18 from foul line.
"Coach Dunlap emphasized getting to the rim and getting foul shots," Sessions said. "You know we try to do that. At times it may not look like it but that's our game, getting to the rim and shooting threes."
Wizards coach Randy Wittman said his team lacked aggressiveness on defense, particularly in the paint, but attributed that to the team's apathetic play on the offensive end of the floor.
"When you stand around and watch a guy dribble and dribble and dribble and take a bad shot, it takes away that affect (on defense)," Wittman said.
Rookie Bradley Beal said he felt like the Wizards "gave up" down the stretch.
"We can't lose focus and today we weren't focused," said Beal, who was 1 of 11 shooting from the floor. "We came in lackadaisical, like we were 5-0 instead of 0-5. We didn't come in with the edge that we usually do."