Hornets Start Strong, Fade in 2nd Half to Bucks

Walker Finishes with Team-High 25 Points, Charlotte Can’t Slow Down Milwaukee
by Sam Perley

By Sam Perley

The Hornets finally got off to a much better start, although couldn’t keep the momentum going in the second half as they fell to the Bucks, 131-114, on Saturday, March 9 in Milwaukee. Charlotte has now dropped five straight road games to the Bucks, who are now a league-best 27-5 at home this season.

Kemba Walker led the visitors with a team-high 25 points, three rebounds and four assists in the loss. The eighth-year veteran notched his 4,000th career field goal in the process, becoming the third player from the 2011 NBA Draft class to reach this milestone (Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving).

Charlotte led by eight after the first and five at halftime, but the Bucks pulled away in the third after winning the quarter, 39-28. The Hornets never got closer than seven the rest of the way and remain winless on the road this season when trailing after 36 minutes of play (0-19).

“I thought our guys battled. We were right there again,” said Hornets Head Coach James Borrego after the game. “We had the lead at halftime. I think the difference in that second half was [Brook] Lopez in the post and I think they shot almost 20 free throws in the third quarter. A lot of foul shots.”

Frank Kaminsky had another impressive outing in his collegiate stomping grounds, tallying 16 points (4-of-5 from three) and four assists off the bench. Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb each added 14 points, while Miles Bridges (15) and Cody Zeller (10) also finished in double figures.

Marvin Williams added five points, a team-high-tying eight rebounds and has now hit at least one three-pointer in 32 straight games, matching the fourth-longest streak in team history (Glen Rice, Jumaine Jones). Both Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (left knee strain) and Tony Parker (rest) were not available for Charlotte.

Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up game highs in scoring (26 points), rebounding (13) and assists (6) for Milwaukee. Brook Lopez added a near season-high 25 points, Nikola Mirotić and Malcolm Brogdan each had 18 points and Eric Bledsoe and Donte DiVincenzo both chipped in another 11 for the NBA-best Bucks.

Milwaukee won the battle on the boards, 55-35, which included a 14-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Bucks also went 26-of-30 from the free-throw line (86.7 percent), compared to the Hornets, who were just 11-of-14 (78.6 percent).

The Hornets finish off their two-game road trip on Monday, March 11 as they take on the Rockets starting at 8 p.m. ET in Houston, TX.

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