Bucks lose without all 5 usual starters vs. Hornets
Antetokounmpo has a sore left knee that will cause him to miss a fourth straight game.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks were without all five of their usual starters Friday night as they hosted the Charlotte Hornets a night after losing at Dallas.
And then the Bucks lost their third straight, resting top players one night after closing a six-game trip with a 116-101 loss at Dallas. Jordan Nwora, a rookie second-round pick from Louisville, scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Bucks.
Reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a fourth straight game with a sore left knee that has kept him out of six of the Bucks’ last 11 contests. The Bucks also were missing Jrue Holiday (bruised left knee), Donte DiVincenzo (bruised right hip), Brook Lopez (sore back), Khris Middleton (sore right knee) and reserve forward P.J. Tucker (strained left calf).
“We didn’t know until like before the game, probably like 45 minutes before the game or something like that,” McDaniels said. “But it’s still the same mentality. If they’re playing or not, we’re still going out there to compete, play hard and come out with the win.”
Tucker has missed the Bucks’ last nine games. DiVincenzo, Holiday, Lopez and Middleton all had played Thursday.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was unsure how soon they could return.
“We’ll see how they feel over the next day or two,” Budenholzer said before the game. “I think we’re hopeful, with maybe P.J. being the exception, that these guys could all be on the shorter end of it. But Giannis has missed several games, so we’ve got to see how he feels. These guys are a little banged up.”
Charlotte also wasn’t close to full strength.
The Hornets announced Saturday that Gordon Hayward would miss at least a month with a sprained right foot. Rookie of the Year candidate LaMelo Ball hasn’t played since March 20 because of a fractured right wrist. Malik Monk has been out the last week with a sprained right ankle.
“We always say it doesn’t matter who’s on the floor,” said Graham, who shot 6 of 12 from 3-point range. “The expectations stay the same.”
Charlotte pulled ahead for good on a Bridges 3-pointer midway through the first quarter and led by as many as 21.
Jeff Teague scored 19 and Bryn Forbes added 18 for the Bucks, who had seven players in double figures.