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Emoni Bates Career Night Fuels Charge to Win

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cleveland Oh. – Emoni Bates is the kind of player that can get hot and fuel a team to a win. That’s exactly what he did tonight against the Santa Cruz Warriors as the Charge beat the Warriors 116-104. Bates was electric in the first half as he scored 20 points in route to his 38-point night. But the second half was where Bates really shined. In the third quarter, with the Warriors in the middle of a 18-6 run, Bates hit three straight threes helping the Charge increase their lead and letting the Warriors know the Charge were not losing this game. It was a memorable point in the game, and one Coach Mike Gerrity spoke about after the game. “You definitely don’t see it often. I’ve been with the Cavs 11 years, so I’ve seen some performances and we’ve had some pretty darn good players come through, but as a head coach, to see those type of thing, and those shots, and the degree of difficulty…. Yeah, you can’t help but smile.”


There were a lot of smiles tonight as Emoni continues to earn his nickname “Three-Moni.” Bates ended with 8 threes two away from the record set by Sam Merrill last season. Bates said after the game, “After I see one go in, I feel like I can make as many as I want.”  The thing that is really impressive is that while he clearly had it going, Bates didn’t force anything. He finished with four assist, and it could have easily been eight. “His approach to the game was unbelievable. We saw early in the game he was really looking to get others involved which then later in the game, it started to open up his shots and opportunities from there.” Coach Mike G said. Getting others involved is something the Charge and Bates have been working on. His playmaking has improved drastically. Where normally young guys try and shoot every time when they are feeling it, Bates has been impressive in that regard. He is unselfish and will make the right play generally when he is supposed to. Yes, there is the shot from the hip when he is off balance and not really open (that shot went in tonight). But once he set his career high, instead of going for the 40-point game, Bates passed the ball to teammates when no one would have been upset if he shot the ball. Asked if he was aware he was that close to 40, Bates said “My teammates were like ‘go get it’ but we won man.” 

It was a complete game from the Charge. Yes, they were led by Bates big night, but with Star Isaiah Mobley out, the Charge were still able to put a complete game together from start to finish. There were some lulls, but the Charge overcame the adversity and put the Warriors away to bring their record to 2-2. Pete Nance had 21 and 10 and Zhaire Smith had 12 with maybe the Dunk of the Year in the third quarter.

It truly was a special game from the Charge as they tried to overcome up and downplay the first half of the season. Coming out and having a complete game, without a key piece in Mobley, was a great start. And Emoni Bates is proving he can score with anyone.


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