Welcome to NBA basketball, Doron Lamb.
Having just returned to practice a couple days ago, the Bucks' second round pick shook off some early foul trouble and combined with fellow reserves Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh, Mike Dunleavy and Beno Udrih to lead the Bucks back from a 20-point third quarter deficit and cruise past the wayward-shooting Bobcats 100-90 in a Thursday morning (yes, morning) tip in Charlotte.
Of course, beating the preseason Bobcats shouldn't leave Bucks fans too giddy, particularly when presumptive stars Brandon Jennings (2/12 fg, 6 pts, 3 ast) and Monta Ellis (2/13 fg, 5 pts, 3 ast, 4 to) were firing blanks all morning. Thankfully the rest of the Bucks didn't seem to mind the late morning tip quite as much, though it took most of them some time to get going. Tobias Harris started quickly with a pair of corner threes and 10 points in the first quarter (18 pts, 6/9 fg, 3/4 threes, 5 rebs in 17 minutes), eventually handing the baton to Mike Dunleavy (14 first half points) as the only Bucks who seemed awake in the first half. It's about what we've come to expect from the evergreen Dunleavy, and what we've hoped to see more of from Harris, who bounced back nicely from poor showings in his last two games with his best game of the preseason.
With the Bucks' starters mostly sputtering, Kemba Walker (20 pts albeit on 6/16 fg) helped the Bobcats to a 55-43 halftime lead and a commanding 71-51 lead early in the third, but things slowly turned around as the misfiring starters sat. Though he failed to hit a three, Lamb (6/11 fg, 12 pts) scored in seemingly every other way, and along with Sanders inspired the Bucks to a 49-19 run to end the game, including 28-11 in the fourth.
Returning from his one-game suspension, Sanders (8 pts, 13 rebs, 4 blocks) was key in helping the Bucks dominate the glass (56-38) and patrol the paint, swatting a trio of shots in the fourth as the Bucks fought back and then weren't seriously threatened in the closing minutes. Playing next to Sanders, Udoh was also solid on both ends, scoring effectively (5/8 fg, 11 pts) and nabbing an encouraging seven boards in 24 minutes.