Ball has career-high 27 points as Hornets top Bucks 126-114
Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 31, 2021
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE (AP) — LaMelo Ball scored a career-high 27 points and had nine assists and the Charlotte Hornets handed the Milwaukee Bucks their second loss in two nights, 126-114 on Friday.
Gordon Hayward added 27 points, Malik Monk had 18 and Cody Zeller chipped in with a career-best 15 rebounds to help the Hornets beat the Pacers and Bucks on back-to-back nights.
Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 34 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks. The two-time MVP appeared to bang knees with Miles Bridges with about seven minutes to play but remained in the game.
Jrue Holiday had 21 points, and Khris Middleton 18 for the Bucks, They fell to 11-8.
It was a game of big runs.
After falling behind 20-10 to start the game, the Hornets caught fire from long range. Behind Hayward and Monk, Charlotte made 15 of its next 17 shots, including eight 3-pointers, as part of a 41-11 run.
But that 20-point lead quickly evaporated as the Bucks battled back to cut it to 68-64 at halftime behind Antetokounmpo, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Ball was a difference maker down the stretch on both ends of the court as the Hornets outscored the Bucks 16-1 in the final 6 1/2 minutes.
The Hornets led by two with less than three minutes to play when Hayward intercepted a Antetokounmpo and delivered a look ahead pass to Ball, who twisted his body to avoid having his shot blocked, scoring and drawing the foul. On Milwaukee’s next possession Ball came up with a steal and fed Devonte Graham for a 3-pointer and soon the Hornets led by double digits.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo was just 10 of 18 from the free throw line.
Hornets: Terry Rozier left the game with a sprained right ankle in the first half and did not return. If Rozier can’t play in Charlotte’s next game, LaMelo Ball is expected to get his first NBA start. … Ball was 9 of 9 from the foul line.
Bucks: Host Portland on Monday night.
Hornets: At Miami on Monday night.
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