The Milwaukee Bucks started fast, faltered in the middle and finished strong. But the hole was too big to dig out of, falling to the Charlotte Hornets 110-107 in Charlotte on Monday night.
The Bucks built an early 14-point lead after making 8 of their first 10 three-pointers.
From that point, the Bucks found it difficult to score, both inside and outside. Charlotte was filling the paint with defenders, trying to prevent Eastern Conference Player of the Week Giannis Antetokounmpo from making a big impact.
Charlotte’s defensive effort turned a 14-point deficit into a 13-point on the Bucks at halftime. The lead grew to 25 in the third quarter before the Bucks started their comeback rally.
Defensively, the Bucks employed a switching defense, something they haven’t done much of this season, and it worked.
The Bucks were able to cut the 25-point deficit to 13 after three-quarters. The comeback continued in the fourth quarter, thanks to the work of reserves Pat Connaughton (15 points) and Donte DiVincenzo (8 points in 11 minutes).
Milwaukee climbed all the way back to a one-point deficit but Charlotte held the Bucks off from there. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 20 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Bucks.
Milwaukee dropped to 14-6 and will return to Milwaukee to host the Chicago Bulls at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night.