Hornets Lose Game, Walker in Hard-Fought Battle in Milwaukee

No Signs of Concussion for Walker, Will Be Evaluated Tomorrow in Charlotte


By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

Result

Kemba Walker scored a game-high 32 points but had to leave the court after being kicked in the back of the head battling for a loose ball in the game’s final minutes as the Hornets fell, 109-104, on Dec. 22 in Milwaukee. The two teams will square off again on Dec. 23 in Charlotte.

Turning Point

When Kemba Walker drove past Thon Maker on the left side to put the Hornets up 104-100 with 2:28 remaining, the Hornets appeared to be on their way to what would arguably be there most impressive road win of the season, despite having already lost Dwight Howard with a dislocated left ring finger early in the first quarter. What they didn’t imagine was that Walker’s bucket would be the last one Charlotte would connect on the rest of the game as Milwaukee closed the game on a 9-0 run with Walker getting checked out in the back after being kicked in the head for the second time in the game. Following Giannis Antetokounmpo’s dunk to close the gap to two, Eric Bledsoe poked the ball away from Walker on Charlotte’s ensuing possession. In the scramble for the loose ball, Walker was inadvertently kicked in the back of the head by Malcom Brogdon. Khris Middleton completed the scramble with a Bucks dunk on the other end while Walker went to the bench with the score tied at 104-104 with 1:42 remaining. With Walker heading to the back for further evaluation, Milwaukee road the wave of momentum to the nine-point outburst and secured the victory.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)

Kemba Walker recorded his third 30+ point game of the season, finishing with game-high 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, including 4-of-9 shooting from long range. Walker added four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot before leaving the game in the final two minutes after being inadvertently kicked in the back of the head in a loose ball scramble. Walker was evaluated by a physician and did not exhibit signs of a concussion postgame. He will be re-evaluated on Saturday in Charlotte.

Bucks Player of the Game

Eric Bledsoe was one of three Bucks to finish in double-digit scoring, tallying 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. Bledsoe filled the stat sheet with 10 assists, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 36 minutes.

Game Notes

Frank Kaminsky led both teams’ reserves with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 shooting from three-point range. Kaminsky started the second half for the Hornets with Dwight Howard sidelined after dislocating his left ring finger early in the first quarter… Marvin Williams recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while dishing out one assist, swiping one steal and blocking one shot… Nic Batum helped set his teammates all night, dropping a team-high six dimes to go with 15 points… Jeremy Lamb followed up his career-best, 32-point night with 13 points off the bench… Johnny O’Bryant grabbed seven rebounds, including a game-tying-best four offensive boards, in 18 minutes as a reserve… With Howard sidelined, the Hornets were outscored 48-34 in the paint… Khris Middleton (28 points), Giannis Antetokounmpo (26) and Eric Bledsoe (24) all finished with 20+ points.

Quote of the Night

“I was super proud of (out bench). Proud of their fight. Proud of their adaptability because they were playing out of position a lot and doing things on both ends that they haven’t had to do before. Milwaukee makes it tough on you.” - Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas on Frank Kaminsky

Next Up

The Hornets return to Spectrum Center for a 7 p.m. tip on Saturday against Milwaukee. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.