With an eye on revenge, the Charlotte Hornets were able to deliver in the Spectrum Center, 126-121 over the Milwaukee Bucks. Malik Monk broke out for 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Kemba Walker scored 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
Charlotte came away with the victory over the Bucks after losing in Milwaukee last week. Despite the great start for Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Hornets made him look human for the first time this season, as he was held to only 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting. However, Khris Middleton had a 43 point outburst, a career high for the former Texas A&M product.
The Hornets defense was porous to begin the game as the Bucks shot 54 percent from the field in the opening quarter. The 32 points allowed in the first were the most the Hornets have allowing in an opening quarter this season. Despite early foul trouble from Antetokounmpo, the Hornets couldn’t take advantage of him being on the bench.
Charlotte found their footing in the second quarter with improved defense from the second unit. Then, Walker decided to take over the game. He had 20 points in the first half to pass Larry Johnson for the most 20 point games in Hornets history with 193. With insane crossovers and tough shots, he got the Hornets a three point lead at halftime.
Dwight Howard got the team going to start the second half with some aggressive play leading to easy dunks. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going out with an illness, Treveon Graham, Malik Monk, and Dwayne Bacon saw a lot of action in the second half. Giannis continued to have foul trouble, but the Hornets were tied a 88 after three quarters.
With a 7-0 run to begin the fourth, the rookies led the charge for Buzz City. Monk took over the fourth quarter with some insane shot making. It was a coming out party for the former Kentucky standout and the bench played well throughout the game. He ended up with 18 points in the fourth quarter.
It was a bad second half for Giannis who looked human for the first time all season. Kemba Walker passed Glen Rice for the most 25 point games in Hornets history in the fourth quarter.
Both teams shot well from deep, with Charlotte connecting on 56 percent from beyond the arc, while Milwaukee shot 52.8 percent.
Overall, this game was a coming out party for both rookies and there was a bit of history for the captain. Hopfully, MKG feels better soon so that he can play on the Hornets upcoming road trip. In the end, this feels like a statement victory for Buzz City, but the team must continue to build on this. We will see how they do in their next game, an away tilt against the Spurs.