The Hornets did their best to give this game away but clutch defense on the final possession allowed them to hang on against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks by a score of 110-107.
This game was looking like it was going to be over early on as the Bucks started off red hot, making eight of their first 10 three-point shots and jumping out to a 28-14 lead. Then, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist entered the game. His numbers weren’t gaudy; posting seven points, five rebounds, one steal, and two blocks. However, he did what he knew best and made his impact known on the defensive side of the ball.
He blew up several of the Bucks offensive plays and his stout defense led to steals for other Hornets players. Due to his outstanding defensive performance, his box plus/minus was a +18 which was good for the highest in the game.
Kidd-Gilchrist’s fiery energy gave a jolt to the Hornets and propelled them to take a 65-52 halftime lead, allowing only 17 points to the Bucks in the second quarter. The lead got up to as many as 25 points in the third before the Bucks embarked on their comeback. After only scoring five points in the first half, Antetokounmpo led the way for their comeback, scoring 15 points in the second half.
The Bucks trimmed the lead all the way down to one after a Giannis layup. Kemba Walker was fouled on the ensuing possession and made both free throws to put the Hornes up three. The Bucks took a timeout and advanced the ball to half court. They inbounded the ball but the play was blown up by MKG (who else) and Bledsoe was forced to shoot a 37 foot jumper. His shot was off the mark and the Hornets came away with a win.
Jeremy Lamb led the way for the Hornets with 21 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Walker added 21 points of his own on a tough shooting night from the field but shot 13-16 from the free throw line. Giannis stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists for the Bucks.
Next, Charlotte is at home again on Wednesday for a revenge game against the Atlanta Hawks. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.