NBA Summer League: Bucks 76, Hornets 68

Tuesday, June 17, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

One night after coughing up a big halftime advantage to Portland, the Hornets nearly turned the tables against Milwaukee, rallying back to make matters interesting in the fourth quarter. Ultimately though, the Bucks held on for a victory, after the Hornets had pulled to within two points. One of the primary bright spots for the Hornets was Lance Thomas, who piled up 22 points, featuring 10-for-10 shooting on free throws. It was very reminiscent of his best official NBA game, when Thomas scored 18 points (including 12-for-14 foul shooting) at Denver on March 9.

"I'm just determined," Thomas said after Monday's game, partly referring to his recent experience as a member of the Select Team that practiced against the 2012 USA Basketball squad. "It put a chip on my shoulder. Those guys were giving me their 'A' game when I was there. It definitely helps, playing against the best guys in the NBA." The Duke University product was the game's top scorer Monday, helping New Orleans stay within striking distance after falling behind by as many as 18 points.

Other notes from Monday:
• Hornets second-round pick Darius Miller was a bigger presence at the offensive end in Game 2, finishing with 11 points. He’s still trying to locate his three-point shot, having gone 0-for-6 so far. Fellow New Orleans rookie Austin Rivers was critical of his own play after Monday’s game, saying he performed poorly and needs to get better. Rivers is also struggling from beyond the arc, at 1-for-12.
• Point guard Brian Roberts joined Thomas as the two Hornets players who’ve put together consecutive quality performances. Roberts had 11 points vs. the Bucks, his second double-digit effort.
• Aside from Thomas, Miller and Roberts, it was a woeful shooting night for the Hornets. After making just 40.3 percent of its shots Sunday, you had to figure that category would improve, but it dropped to 33.3 against Milwaukee. Other than the aforementioned trio, no New Orleans player had more than one basket.