EditorsNote: Adds details on Walker’s injury (third-to-last and second-to-last grafs)
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half for a 108-99 victory over the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
The Bucks went on an 11-0 run early in the fourth quarter to get back into the game, then wound up outscoring the Hornets 13-3 in the final five minutes.
Milwaukee won its sixth straight and improved its home record to 22-4. The Bucks continue to have the best record in the NBA at 35-12.
The Bucks’ late surge allowed them to shoot 46.1 percent from the field on a night when they struggled for three quarters. They finished 6-for-31 from 3-point range (19.4 percent).
Antetokounmpo scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter. His dunk gave the Bucks the lead for good at 97-96 with 4:58 remaining, then Eric Bledsoe hit a drive and Khris Middleton drilled a 3-pointer moments later to push the lead to 102-96.
Malcolm Brogdon added 19 points for the Bucks. Bledsoe scored 18 and Middleton 15.
The Hornets had won four of their previous five games. They played with the lead all night, leading 27-22 after one quarter, 54-52 at halftime and 87-76 after three quarters. Charlotte led 92-80 with 9:45 remaining when the Bucks went on their 11-0 surge to get back into the game.
Nicolas Batum led the Hornets with 19 points. Jeremy Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 16 each, Marvin Williams scored 13, and Kemba Walker was held to 10, which is 15 under his season scoring average.
Walker, in his first game since being named a starter in the upcoming All-Star Game, left with 2:06 remaining after sustaining what the team called a neck strain in a scrum for a loose ball.
“So far he’s OK,” head coach James Borrego told reporters of Walker after the game. “We’ll know more [Saturday], but so far indications are that he is going to be OK.”
The Bucks will now head out on a five-game road trip, starting on Sunday at Oklahoma City. The Hornets were closing out a three-game road trip and will return home to host New York on Monday.
—Field Level Media