Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Tuesday’s home game vs. Milwaukee Bucks

By Richard Walker

Notes and observations from Tuesday’s 114-104 Hornets’ home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that dropped Charlotte to 30-31 overall:

… Charlotte had a chance to sweep the Bucks for the first time since the 2013-14 season but the Hornets fell behind by 19 in the third quarter and couldn’t complete a rally that gave them within four (103-99) with four minutes left. “I love the way our guys competed tonight against one of the best teams in the NBA,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said. “The resiliency was there as was the competitive spirit.”

… Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead Milwaukee (38-23). Brook Lopez added 22 points and Khris Middleton 12 points, five rebounds and six assists for the Bucks, who scored 62 points in the paint.

… Devonte’ Graham led Charlotte with 24 points. Miles Bridges added 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, P.J. Washington 18 points, Brad Wanamaker 13 points and Cody Martin 10 points and six rebounds. Terry Rozier struggled with eight points, five rebounds and four assists on four of 17 overall shooting and zero of seven 3-point shooting.

… LaMelo Ball (right wrist) missed his 20th straight, Malik Monk (right ankle) his 14th straight game and Gordon Hayward (right foot) his 13th straight game with injuries. All three appear certain to miss Wednesday’s game at Boston but Borrego is optimistic Ball and Monk could be returning soon. “Both (Ball and Monk) are on the court,” Borrego said. “Hopefully, Thursday there will be some practice time. It’s Monk and Melo first. Gordon’s not there.”

… Graham and Bridges say the late-season jockeying for playoff spots have created a noticeable increase in game intensity. Charlotte’s loss left them in eighth place; The Hornets trail fourth- and fifth-place New York and Atlanta (34-28 each) by four games and sixth- and seventh-place Boston and Miami (32-30 each) by 1 1-2 games while leading ninth-place Indiana (29-32) by one game and 10th-place Washington (27-34) by three games. “For here on out, everybody’s trying to get ready for the playoffs,” Graham said. “So there’s a lot more energy from start to finish.”

… Milwaukee’s large frontline led to a 48-38 overall rebounding advantage in Tuesday’s game; Charlotte is 11-22 when it gets outrebounded this season.

What’s next: The Hornets visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Charlotte just routed Boston 125-104 on Sunday in Charlotte and both teams are coming off Tuesday night losses.