The Milwaukee Bucks came into tonight’s contest having won their only two road games of the season (in Boston and then in Atlanta). Unfortunately that streak was snapped, as the Bucks fell 126-121 to the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets were looking for a bit of revenge tonight after October 23rd’s 104-93 defeat in Milwaukee. After getting absolutely pants-ed by the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, the Bucks came out of the gates displaying a short memory; the end result being a franchise record 19 three-pointers.
Despite the hot start, that saw the Bucks lead by as much as ten, the lead was eventually squandered at halftime with Milwaukee down 60-57. The offense was clicking more than last night as they shot 50 percent from the field and from beyond the arc (8/16), so it was an encouraging first half compared with last night. The second half saw the ill effects of playing back-to-back games in two different cities. The Hornets started to become one step quicker than the Bucks from the beginning of the fourth quarter. Of course, converting on nearly two-thirds of their fourth quarter field goals helps things. The Bucks hung in and made a run late in the game, lead by Khris Middleton, but Charlotte’s hot finish to the game was too much to overcome.
Milwaukee wore their
home Association white jerseys on the road for first time all season with the Hornets going with their fantastic teal-ish unis. John Henson was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time all season, replacing the struggling Thon Maker. Henson had himself a solid night on the glass collecting 10 rebounds and contributed to the positive offensive flow with 6 assists. In the first contest, Dwight Howard corralled 22 rebounds and Henson put in the work to keep Howard to just 11 rebounds tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his trend of starting games off hot. His thunderous dunk over Howard in the first quarter was the exclamation for a first quarter that ended with the Bucks up by seven. He also once again found himself in first half foul trouble. He picked up his third foul with 6:44 left in the second quarter and drew his fifth with 36 seconds left in the third quarter. In the previous meeting, Frank Kaminsky put Giannis on a poster, tonight Antetokounmpo exacted some revenge, by dunking over him late in the third quarter. The Greek Freak had a muted performance tonight only netting 14 points on 31.3 percent shooting while collecting 13 rebounds.
The much maligned Middleton lead the Bucks in scoring tonight with a career high 43(!) points. Khash looked comfortable within the offensive flow from start to finish for the first time all season and did not commit a single turnover while also contributing seven assists. His buzzer beating, mid-range jumper assured the game would be tied at 88 heading into the final 12 minutes of regulation. Unfortunately, that was as close to sniffing a lead as the Bucks would get for the rest of the night, despite Middleton leading the late charge.
Kemba Walker is good, folks. The former UConn great ran circles around the Bucks defense in the first half and steered the Hornets offense the second. The All-Star netted 20 points in that fantastic first half and finished with a team leading 26 points on 8/12 shooting. Rookie Malik Monk forgot to take off his microwave Halloween costume as he scored 18 of his 25 points in the fourth to help bury the Bucks.
Stat that Stood Out
The Hornets bench outscored the Bucks’ 52 to 23. The leading scorer off the bench for Milwaukee was Mirza Teletovic, with 12 points on 4/6 shooting from three-point range. Mirza was the only bench Buck to sniff double figures, while Charlotte’s bench featured three players in double figures. The aforementioned Monk finished with 25 points including 18 in the fourth. Monk hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter that helped Charlotte run away with the game. Frank Kaminsky and Dwayne Bacon were the other bench Hornets to net double figures, scoring 11 and 10 respectively.