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Recap: Hornets score 51 points in the first quarter, defeat Bucks, 138-109

The Hornets set franchise records for points in a quarter and points in a first half en route to a commanding win.

Charlotte Hornets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Terry Rozier scored 39 points while LaMelo Ball notched a 27-point, 12-assist double double and the Charlotte Hornets used a record setting first quarter to take down the Milwaukee Bucks, 138-109.

The Hornets first shot attempt was a leaning Terry Rozier 3-pointer that missed wildly. The dreadful miss proved to be a good omen. The Hornets went on to score on their next 17 consecutive possessions. LaMelo Ball hit a pair of threes while Rozier attacked the paint and hit a few jumpers of his own. The Hornets hit 28 points by the halfway point of the quarter and crossed 30 points with 5:54 left in the opening frame. The consecutive possessions with a basket streak was finally ended by Joe Ingles blocking a Rozier layup attempt. Jalen McDaniels got fouled with 0.3 seconds left in the first to give their first every 50-point quarter in team history. Rozier scored 17 of those points and the Hornets were 20-of-29 from the field in that opening frame.

The Hornets didn't let the quarter break slow them down. LaMelo Ball hit three 3-pointers in a barrage of bombs from both teams. Rozier checked back in and immediately splashed another triple and another jumper. The Hornets tied the franchise record of points in a first half with 79 with 2:57 left in the second quarter. Ball snapped the record with his sixth three of the half a couple of possessions later. The Hornets led 84-60 at the half.

The second half wasn’t nearly as explosive as the first, but the Hornets didn’t need it to be. After some back and forth to start the second half, the offenses cooled off a bit. A few Rozier buckets and layup by Mark Williams extended the Hornets lead to 31 points and forced a Bucks timeout. Rozier hit 38 points for the game with a couple minutes left in the third and the game well under Hornets control. The Hornets outscored the Bucks by one point in the third and took a 25 point lead into the fourth.

LaMelo Ball hit his seventh three of the night to open the third quarter and put the Hornets up 28. The Hornets maintained that lead as they cruised through the fourth quarter.

With the game all but decided Thanasis Antetokounmpo barreled through the back of Terry Rozier. He was called for a flagrant foul. Rozier hit one of the two free throws and waved off the fans jeering for free food. JT Thor hit a pair of threes in the garbage time chaos to help set the final margin.

The Hornets played extremely well on the defensive end of the floor as well. Giannis Antetokounmpo was bottled up as well as you’ll ever see. He was limited to just two made field goals and finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, and no assists. The Hornets put a lot of bodies in front of him and put him on the free throw line instead of giving him easy layups. It seemed to break Giannis’s rhythm and he never got going.

That defense worked on the rest of the Bucks as well. The Bucks finished the evening without a single dunk, attempted only 27 shots in the paint, and only made 10 of those.

It was refreshing to see someone other than LaMelo Ball get hot from three, and it was especially nice to see a breakout performance from Rozier.

The Hornets will try to keep the good times rolling with a visit to Indiana on Sunday.