It’s hard to imagine how a team can lack energy in a season opener, but that’s what happened to the Milwaukee Bucks in their 107-96 home opener at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
“They played harder than we did,” said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. “If you just look at the 50-50 balls, they got them all. We’ve got to win that battle to have any chance to win.”
The Hornets came out with some pressure defense and the Bucks didn’t handle it well.
Charlotte (1-0) never trailed in the game, getting 23 points and 14 rebounds from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 17 points from Kemba Walker.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists, hitting 13 of 21 shots from the field.
The Bucks, who finished at the bottom of the league in three point shooting last season, hit just three of their 16 three-point attempts.
The Bucks did make a fourth-quarter surge, climbing back to within 88-79 but they would get no closer.
Starting center Miles Plumlee played just eight minutes and tallied one rebound and one assist. Greg Monroe came off the bench and had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Malcolm Brogdon finished with eight points, five rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes in his NBA debut.