For the second time in six days, the Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Milwaukee Bucks. Much like last Saturday’s contest, Friday’s game was a veritable blowout, despite the somewhat-close 16-point margin.
The Bobcats (8-9) won every quarter, slowly building a lead that was never seriously challenged by the lowly 2-13 Bucks. Milwaukee was unable to contain Al Jefferson, who scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. It was easily the best game of the season for the banged-up big man, and he did it all in just 26 minutes. Kemba Walker chipped in 10 points for Charlotte and Gerald Henderson added 19 to go with six rebounds and three assists. The backcourt pair combined for 11 turnovers, however.
The Bucks were led by a season-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from Brandon Knight, his first double-digit scoring output of the season. Ekpe Udoh and Gary Neal each contributed 10 points but no other players reached double figures. O.J. Mayo’s inconsistent play continued, as he scored just five points on 2-of-11 shooting after going for 21 in Wednesday’s loss to the Wizards. Mayo scored 15+ points in seven of Milwaukee’s first nine games, but he’s done it just once in the past six contests. John Henson, whose role has varied throughout the season, was responsible for Milwaukee’s most diverse line of the night, as he put up seven points, five rebounds, three assists and a season-high six blocks.
Not surprisingly, Milwaukee was annihilated on the boards, finishing with a -16 differential and 16-7 disparity on the offensive glass. Bismack Biyombo pulled down 14 rebounds off the bench in 20 minutes and seven Bobcats recorded at least four boards. Much of this recurring rebounding issue lies within Milwaukee’s general inability to, well, rebound, but it’s pretty easy for opponents to rack up significant differentials when the Bucks are missing upwards of 60 percent of their attempts.
A few notes from the game:
-Ersan Ilyasova left the game in the first half with hamstring soreness and did not return. He already missed a handful of games with an ankle injury earlier in the season, and it’s unknown whether he’ll play Saturday versus Boston. Ilyasova was held scoreless (0-6 FG) but grabbed four rebounds in 12 minutes.
-Caron Butler sat out with a swollen knee and his status is also unknown for Saturday’s contest. The veteran has been inconsistent of late, scoring in double-figures just once in his last five games. Khris Middleton started in his absence and will likely do the same should Butler remain out against Boston.
-After failing to see the floor in Wednesday’s loss, Giannis Antetokoumnpo logged 13 minutes and scored four points(2-3 FG) to go with a pair of rebounds and an assist. The rookie committed three fouls but has been one of Milwaukee’s most aggressive players on both sides of the ball when given the opportunity. Should Milwaukee continue to struggle (they will), Antetokounmpo’s minutes could increase in an attempt to expedite his development.
-Bismack Biyombo’s 14 rebounds were his most this season and he reached double-digit boards for the first time in eight games. Good for you, Bismack.
-Gary Neal scored 10 points off the bench, his 10th game this season reaching double-digits. However, he’s shot 50 percent or better just twice this season and is shooting 38.8 percent on the year.
-While he may be relegated to the bench for a few more weeks, Larry Sanders did not let that stop him from picking up a technical foul for arguing a call. Sigh.