If Taylor's performance in the Bobcats' 105-88 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night was any indication, the
second-year forward will adapt to his new role just fine.
Taylor matched his career high with 20 points to lead six Bobcats in
double figures, on what turned out to be the biggest offensive
output for the team all season.
Taylor had nine points in a 36-point first-quarter explosion, which
allowed the Bobcats to take control early and cruise with
double-figure leads much of the game.
"He took full advantage of starting and playing more minutes,"
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said of Taylor. "I thought he played
really well offensively, he rebounded well, and he did a good job
defensively. If he can continue to play like he did tonight, we'll
Kidd-Gilchrist suffered his injury in the Bobcats' loss at Dallas on
Taylor, a second-round pick from Vanderbilt last year, came into the
game averaging 7.9 points and 2.2 rebounds. He was 8 of 16 from the
field, hit two 3-pointers and also matched a career high with eight
"I was just trying to take the opportunities when they came to me,"
Taylor said. "A lot of the same shots I made tonight haven't been
falling for me lately. I just tried to be aggressive and take what
the defense gave to me. I got off to a good start and it carried
with me the rest of the night."
The Bobcats also got 18 points from guard Gerald Henderson, 18
points and 10 assists from guard Kemba Walker, 14 points and 12
rebounds from center Al Jefferson, 13 points from guard Ramon
Sessions, and 10 points from forward Cody Zeller.
The 105 points represented the Bobcats' biggest offensive output of
the season, and was just the second time all season they have scored
more than 100. They shot 54.3 percent from the field in the first
half in racing to a 62-51 halftime lead, and finished at 46.2
percent with just nine turnovers.
"We were playing really well on offense," Taylor said. "We were
getting easy buckets, layups, dunks, open shots, so we definitely
felt good on offense throughout the whole night. It was a fun game
to play tonight."
The win snapped a two-game losing streak and moved the Bobcats to
[to top of second column]
The Sixers were without guard Michael Carter-Williams, who
injured his right knee earlier in the week and did not make the
Tony Wroten, Carter-Williams' replacement, led the Sixers with
21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. The Sixers also got
16 points from forward Evan Turner, 12 points from guard Hollis
Thompson, and 10 points and 13 rebounds from center Spencer
Sixers coach Brett Brown bemoaned his team's defense in the
first half. Charlotte finished with 22 fastbreak points, 58
points in the paint.
"When people score 60-something points in the first half, it's a
concern," Brown said. "We know our sickness. We know what our
weakness is. Some of it is the way that we play, some of it is
individual attention to defense and me putting them in better
places. It's a concern no matter who we play when they roll out
those types of numbers in the first half."
"We've got to start off the game defensively," Wroten said. "We
played good defense in the second half, so we've just got to
play defense for the whole 48 minutes. We can't let a team get
36, 40 points in the first quarter. It's going to be hard to win
games like that."
The Sixers are now 7-13 and have lost nine of their last 11.
They are 1-8 on the road.
NOTES: Bobcats C Bismack Biyombo suffered a sprained right ankle
in the second quarter and did not return. ... Bobcats C Al
Jefferson had his fourth straight double-double. ... The Sixers'
lone road win this season came at Washington on Nov. 1. The
Sixers lost 15 straight road games during one stretch last
season. ... The Bobcats expect to be without F Michael
Kidd-Gilchrist somewhere between four and six weeks with a
fractured left hand. They have also been without C Brendan
Haywood all season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his
left foot. ... The Sixers are now 1-4 without G Michael
Carter-Williams. He missed four games earlier this season with a
left foot arch bruise and the Sixers were 1-3 in those games.
... The Sixers have not had C Nerlens Noel and F Arnett Moultrie
at all this season, both because of left ankle injuries. ...
This is the first of four meetings between the Eastern
Conference rivals this season. They will meet again in
Philadelphia on Jan. 15, and then twice more in April. ... The
Bobcats will remain home and face Golden State on Monday. ...
The Sixers will return home to face Denver on Saturday.
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