Game in Review: Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets – January 16

Jan 16, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez (21) shoots the ball against Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez (21) shoots the ball against Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

The second game on a back-to-back wasn’t enough to keep the Milwaukee Bucks from going off and dominating the Charlotte Hornets on the road in a big win.

Starting Lineups – Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams, Khris MiddletonGiannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Greg Monroe

Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, PJ Hairston, Cody Zeller

What a week it has been for the Milwaukee Bucks and their young guys, hey? The last three contests have been as competitive as one could hope for as Milwaukee earned two victories on the backs of Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jabari Parker. Giannis in particular has been on a tear, averaging 25.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists over that span.

Saturday evening in Charlotte was simply the kick-off to a four game road trip which will see the team travel to Miami, Houston and New Orleans. Taking on the Charlotte Hornets was never going to be any easy task, but at times they’ve been playing nearly as poorly as Milwaukee so far this year so it promised to be anybody’s game.

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Charlotte came shooting out of the gates in a very literal sense hitting many of their early shots across the floor. Milwaukee’s usual offense ground slightly to a halt when the Hornets defense swarmed (pun intended) Giannis on the wings whenever he received the ball forcing some early turnovers.

Milwaukee made Charlotte pay, however, whenever they tried to make their way into the paint thanks to a variety of timely blocks doled out across the board. Three-point defense once more failed to live up to expectations as Charlotte made their way to a five of nine line from distance after the first. A Jabari poster helped stem the tide just a tiny bit:

Turnovers continued to be a problem for Milwaukee as they ended the quarter with six. Kemba Walker looked primed for a fantastic start until he decided to go totally cold on his way to eight points on two of eight shooting. Either way, Milwaukee ended the quarter down 19-29.

Jerryd Bayless returning from a re-aggravated ankle injury had the potential to help with the team’s shooting woes into the second. While he did provide a bit of a cool hand, it was Rashad Vaughn‘s fantastic range from deep that got the team on a 13-2 run to force an early Charlotte timeout.

More chaotic passing from Milwaukee’s end did curb the number of turnovers committed, though Antetokounmpo did his best to keep the team within range using his length to side-step plenty of defenders. The Bucks actually stole back the lead with about 3:00 to play due to in part aggressive play by Parker in the paint.

Shooting powered the team down the stretch to reach the break in the positive, up 52-48.

Milwaukee were able to maintain distance early in the third as Greg Monroe did his best to contest down low often, but Charlotte answered back nearly each time down the court. Cody Zeller in particular was having difficulty trying to contain Greg’s size down low.

Giannis continued to be a playmaking menace on both ends of the floor in yet another dominating performance, and it was a pleasure seeing Jabari, Giannis, and Khris Middleton all having great games once again as they continued to flow.

Substituting John Henson did little to help Charlotte inside as he slammed home a dunk or two and gobbled up rebounds to reinforce Milwaukee’s front line. Often a plus-minus villain, Henson would end the game at +5. Milwaukee’s lead continued to grow, and it was obvious tonight as it has been for awhile that the player rotations implemented by coach Joe Prunty have been making quite the impact.

Charlotte’s cold streak continued forth as they ended the quarter hitting only 39.7% so far ending behind Milwaukee, 84-73.

The Hornets did their level best to cure their ice-cold shooting right away in the fourth with threes falling, but Milwaukee’s defense reacted well to shut things down and force a few turnovers. A quick two-minute scoreless streak by Charlotte did wonders to allow Milwaukee to really push the pace as the game wore on, and the starting unit made their impact felt in a big way as the team began to really pull away.

A 20 point lead and thus the victory was assured and reached at the 4:21 mark thanks to a Monroe lay-in to push the score to 102-81. The human victory cigar that is Chris Copeland and the rest of the subs were brought in with 2:43 remaining as the Bucks sealed their victory, 105-92.

89. Final. 92. 170. 105

Milwaukee continues on the road Tuesday evening as they head down to Florida to face the Miami Heat.