Things always seem to get weird in Charlotte, but tonight it didn’t go the Milwaukee Bucks way, as they fell 107-110 to the Hornets. The Bucks came out hot and heavy from behind the arc to start the first quarter, but Charlotte battled back to combat Milwaukee’s eight triples on the quarter and Bud’s crew led 35-32 after one. A series of butterfingered attempts at the rim to close out the second led to a depressing quarter as Charlotte boosted ahead, 65-52 at halftime. The Bucks fell behind by 25 after a continued stretch of horrific play, but finally found a spurt of promising play to make it only a 13-point deficit, 93-80, heading into the fourth. Milwaukee made it close and blew plenty of opportunities down the stretch as an Eric Bledsoe heave from deep rattled out to snuff the Bucks out, 110-107.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a quieter scoring night from his recent 30-point spree, still finishing with a spectacular all-around performance at 20 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
His compatriots meanwhile were mainly a balanced attack. Malcolm Brogdon went for 11 on a horrific 4-16 shooting performance, Eric Bledsoe had 17 points and Khris Middleton joined Brogdon on the slow-shooting evening with 11 points, going just 3-12 from deep and tallying five turnovers. Pat Connaughton went for 15, including this death-defying putback, which made it all the more puzzling when an easy lay-in bounced from his hands.
Kemba Walker didn’t have nearly the scoring breakout that he did to open the season, instead settling for 21 points on a pretty absurd 16 free throw attempts. Jeremy Lamb matched him with 21 of his own while Marvin Williams contributed 16 to the winning effort.
Stat That Stood Out
Three points off turnovers - Milwaukee didn’t force Charlotte into many turnovers, just 11, but they couldn’t capitalize on practically any of them. They had seven steals on the night, and weren’t able to create points in transition. The Bucks had plenty of gaffes trying to get the ball in beneath the basket and it hurt them all the way down to the final buzzer.