Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Friday’s road game vs. Milwaukee Bucks
By Richard Walker
Notes and observations from Friday’s 127-119 Hornets’ road win over the Milwaukee Bucks that improved Charlotte to 27-24 overall:
… Charlotte enters the finale of a six-game road trip seeking the franchise’s fourth four-win road trip. The Hornets did so by leading after each quarter and roaring to 100 points after three quarters for the second time this season. “Everybody’s stepping up,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “Look at the starters: Everybody contributed to this victory tonight.”
… Guards Devonte’ Graham (20 points, 5 assists) and Terry Rozier (20 points), forwards Jalen McDaniels (19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) and Miles Bridges (26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and center P.J. Washington (18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) were the starters and Cody Zeller (10 points, 12 rebounds) was effective off the bench.
… Charlotte finishes 4-2 on the road trip, which matches three previous successful road trips in franchise history – 4-1 in February 1997, 4-2 in January 2011 and 4-2 in February 2016. “It’s just a mindset that everybody has to be more aggressive, shooting 3s and attacking the paint,” Graham said.
… The Hornets enter Saturday in fourth place in the tight Eastern Conference race, ahead of fifth-place Atlanta (28-25) by one percentage point and two games ahead of eighth-place New York (26-27). Charlotte hosts Atlanta in its next game.
… McDaniels is averaging 14.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his three starts this season. “It just comes down to always being prepared,” said McDaniels, who frequently works individually with Hornets player development coach Nick Friedman. “Nick and I were talking about how it could happen anytime (recently) – and here it is.”
… Jordan Nwora (24 points) and Bobby Portis (10 points, 13 rebounds) led Milwaukee, which was without All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee) and Khris Middleton (right knee). Antetokounmpo was missing his fourth straight game due to his injury.
… Charlotte is at three games over .500 this late in the season for the first time since the 2015-16 season – the last time the Hornets made the playoffs. “For us, it’s really about the next game,” Borrego said. “Nobody’s sitting here on our tails and celebrating. There’s an opportunity for growth ahead of us.”
What’s next: The Hornets host Atlanta on Sunday at 1 p.m. to start a season-ending stretch of 14 home games out of 21. Charlotte has beaten the Hawks twice already this season and has won won 12 of the last 16 meetings with the Hawks.