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Milwaukee vs. Charlotte: Bucks Swat Hornets, 130-106

Giannis leads the way in well-needed victory

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After a frustrating loss on Saturday to Brooklyn, the Bucks were able to get back on track with a blowout 130-106 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The three ball would be the theme of the quarter, especially for Charlotte. They’d hoist up 13 attempts and connect on six of them. LaMelo Ball would lead all scorers after one quarter with 13 points, but the Bucks were still able to match up well and made it a tie ballgame going into the second, 32-32.

Charlotte would trot out a porous defense to begin the second, and the Bucks took advantage. A flurries of 3-pointers flipped the script of this one upside-down and saw Milwaukee seize control. In a matter of moments, they’d blow things wide open. Going into the locker room, things were heavily in their control with a 76-53 lead.

The troublesome third quarters that we have seen so frequently from the Bucks this season did not come to fruition last night. Instead, they kept shooting the ball — and well. Charlotte didn’t even have a chance to get back into this one. Headed into the final quarter, Milwaukee built up a 108-76 lead.

Giannis led the way with his typical performance, posting 26 points and hauling in 16 rebounds. Jrue Holiday (21 points) and Bobby Portis (20 points) both surpassed the 20 point mark. Grayson Allen also etched into double digits, finalizing his night with an 11 point effort.

For Charlotte, LaMelo Ball served as the leading scorer, totaling 24 points.

Three Observations

The third quarter didn’t cause problems for the Bucks.

Time and time again this season, we’ve seen the Bucks struggle in the third quarter. Whether it meant going cold with their shot or just slipping up on defense and allowing 40+ points, it’s been an ongoing problem for them this season. However, last night, they were able to tighten up and maintain a strong level of play throughout the quarter. They’d hold Charlotte to just 25 points in that frame. Compare that to the 43 that Brooklyn hung on them the other night and that’s a massive victory. Here’s what Mike Budenholzer had to say on that:

“It’s something we’ve been talking about, something we need to do. Our defense, on the ball, in the paint, defending off-ball screens, pick-and-rolls takes a lot of effort and our guys we’re really good tonight.”

Shooting is contagious.

That was the case for Milwaukee last night. It truly seemed as if they couldn’t miss at times, and when somebody got hot, it transferred to their teammates. Every starter scored double digits, and three of them tallied 20+ points. When you’re having a night like that, things are going to go your way — plain and simple. As a team, they’d shoot 44% from the floor and go 18-of-45 from beyond the arc.

Bobby Portis continues to be massive.

Once again, the energy that BP brought to the table provided a massive punch. There was a span of minutes where he was on fire and it essentially put the game away. The other night, he connected on a career-high eight threes. Now, he didn’t shoot that well (just four), but still, that’s saying something. It’s gotten to the point where I nearly expect the ball to go in when the ball is shot. All in all, he provided 20 points and ten rebounds on the evening, which definitely continues to be appreciated by his teammates.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • LaMelo Ball is a joy to watch. The swag he carries, the crazy dribbles and crisp passes — I really enjoy him. Early on in this one, he was going off. I definitely look forward to seeing him every time Charlotte comes to Milwaukee.
  • Every time the Hornets play the Bucks and I’m covering the game, I always have to mention their colors and uniforms. I still think they have the best branding in the Association.
  • Giannis was throwing a block party last night:
  • Jevon Carter is a menace. As Bud said in his postgame presser, he can change the game with his defense. His ability to lock down guards at full court length definitely brings the Bucks some versatility. This is what Bud had to say about Carter in his postgame:
  • Charlotte’s starters were still in the game late, despite being down by 25+. I found that very confusing.