Tue, 25 Jan 2022

Bucks push to extend win streak vs. skidding Hornets

Field Level Media
01 Dec 2021, 07:55 GMT+10

The Milwaukee Bucks look to push their win streak to eight games Wednesday night as they host the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bucks have not lost since Nov. 14 and also have won their last five games at home dating to Nov. 5. They are averaging 113.9 points during the streak and have shot over 45 percent from the field in six of seven games.

Milwaukee is coming off a 118-100 win over the Pacers on Sunday. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-15 (66.7 percent) shooting. Jrue Holiday added 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, Bobby Portis recorded 15 points, and Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton each had 14.

Connaughton has carved out a larger role with the Bucks this season and has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 games.

"I've fell in love with the work. I've done it since I was what, 13, 14 years old, when I started to get into the gym and weight room," Connaughton said following the win against Orlando on Nov. 22. "It's no different when it comes to the skillset and the shooting and finding what works for you and really learning what works for you."

Brook Lopez continues to be out with a back injury and Donte DiVincenzo will once again be sidelined due to his ankle. Semi Ojeleye will miss significant time with a calf injury.

Veteran DeMarcus Cousins, who officially signed with Milwaukee on Tuesday, is expected to be available for action.

Charlotte has dropped back-to-back games and lost 133-119 to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. Terry Rozier paced the Hornets with 31 points, going 11-for-17 (64.7 percent) from the field. Gordon Hayward contributed 22 points, and LaMelo Ball added 18 to go along with 13 assists and seven rebounds. The bench also provided ample production, as Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 18 points and P.J. Washington 15.

Oubre has been extremely productive off the bench and is averaging 14.9 points this season. Washington just recently made his return from an elbow injury and has averaged 15 over the last three games.

Defense continues to be a major problem for the Hornets, who have allowed at least 115 points in each of the last three games and are surrendering an average of 114.9 this season.

"We just got to be better defensively overall," head coach James Borrego said. "We got to figure it out together. It's a long season, these are some good teams we're playing against. Obviously disappointed last game against Houston, disappointed tonight in our defense -- we just got to correct it."

Although there have been defensive struggles, there has been no shortage in offense: Charlotte is leading the league, averaging 114.4 points a game. Terry Rozier has started to come to life on that side of the ball and has eclipsed the 25-point mark in four of his last five games.

"His offense is there. I mean obviously our offense is fine, it's the defensive end that's the problem," Borrego said. "I like where Terry's at offensively."

The Hornets could be without a pair of role players, as Mason Plumlee is expected to be out due to a calf injury and Cody Martin is listed as day-to-day with a non-COVID-19 illness.

--Field Level Media

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