Six-Game Road Stretch Wrapping Up for Hornets in Milwaukee

by Sam Perley
  • Charlotte Hornets (26-24) at Milwaukee Bucks (32-18)
  • Friday, April 9, 2021 at 9 PM EST (Fiserv Forum)
  • Bally Sports and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM
  • Last time out: Hornets won, 126-114 on Jan. 30, 2021 in Charlotte

Big Performances by McDaniels, Hornets Bench Seal Win in OKC

A much-needed two-day break following an 86-point output in Boston helped the Hornets right the ship a bit in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, leading to a 113-102 victory. Jalen McDaniels was moved into the starting three spot and Coach Borrego was rewarded for his ingenuity by getting a career-high 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals from the 23-year-old forward. Charlotte’s bench also got complimentary showings from both Brad Wanamaker (12 points and six assists) and Cody Zeller (15 points and 14 rebounds), giving the team seven total players in double figures in an overall much more balanced performance.

Bucks Coming Off Long Road Trip Right into Back-to-Back

Milwaukee is currently enduring one of the toughest parts of its schedule this season, having just wrapped up a six-game All-Western Conference road trip in Dallas last night. The Bucks started their venture with a 3-2 mark, although were without two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee soreness) for their loss on Tuesday evening in Golden State. Antetokounmpo was listed as doubtful to play against the Mavericks and his status for tonight’s affair is certainly up in the air as the Hornets look to make it two straight wins over a potentially road-weary Milwaukee squad.

Milwaukee Reaping Benefits of Jrue Holiday Addition

Ever since Antetokounmpo emerged as one of the NBA’s preeminent talents, the Bucks have had some trouble finding a third star to pair with him and two-time All-Star combo guard Khris Middleton. A blockbuster offseason deal with New Orleans brought do-it-all point guard Jrue Holiday to the organization and the gamble has certainly paid off big for the Bucks. The 11th-year veteran is shooting career highs from the field (51%) and three (40%), ranks second in the NBA in steals (1.8) and over his past five games prior to last night, is averaging 27.2 points on 62% shooting, 5.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 2.2 steals for the East’s third-ranked team.

Preview Quote

“Whatever is necessary for us to move forward, I’m willing to try. I’m not going to sit here holding back. We’re going to go for it. Sometimes you have to take some risk for some reward. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll find out what happens on Friday night, but whatever it takes for us right now, we’re going to go for it. It’s probably going to be a different lineup every night that gets us over the hump.” Coach Borrego following Wednesday’s win in Oklahoma City

Final Thoughts

The next several weeks for the Charlotte Hornets will largely be about finding a path to victory on a night-to-night basis with whoever’s available on the roster. Building off the Thunder win – particularly from an offensive and transition scoring standpoint – and getting more balanced contributions from across the rotation will go a long way towards the purple and teal hopefully closing out their road stretch with a winning record.

Additional Notes

In addition to Antetokounmpo’s injury, F PJ Tucker (left calf strain) was also out for Milwaukee last night… Charlotte has lost six consecutive road games in Milwaukee (most recent win: Oct. 26, 2016)… The Bucks are 4-3 on the second leg of back-to-backs this season (28-15 with at least one day of rest)… The Hornets are 2-6 against Milwaukee since the start of the 2018-19 NBA campaign… The Bucks are 3-2 in games without Giannis Antetokounmpo this season heading into Thursday’s game in Dallas.


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