Hornets held to season-low 26 points in first half against Bucks

Charlotte Hornets held to season-low 26 points in first half against Bucks

USA Today Network

The Charlotte Hornets scored a season-low 26 points in the first half of Tuesday night’s 123-85 blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, passing their previous first-half low of 29 points against the Golden State Warriors last week.

Tre Mann led the Hornets with just seven points after two quarters.

Charlotte trailed 58-26 at half time. That’s the lowest number of points scored by any team in a first half since the Chicago Bulls‘ 26 points at Boston on March 12, 2017.

Charlotte was also held to a franchise-low 24 points at Utah on March 1, 2013, and at Oklahoma City on Nov. 26, 2012. The Hornets shot 9-of-43 (21%) from the field and just 3-of-20 (15%) from 3-point range in the first half.

They went on to shoot 30-of-81 (37%) from the floor and 11-of-40 (27.5%) beyond the arc.

Charlotte Hornets host the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, Milwaukee is 6-7 under Doc Rivers

Furthermore, the Bucks’ 38-point win was their most lopsided victory of the season.

“Right now, watching them on film and again tonight, you can tell they sense that they’re starting to feel good about each other,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of the Bucks. “They’re starting to get a feel for how they want to play, and they’re playing with great confidence and energy.”

It was Milwaukee’s second-fewest points they had ever allowed in the first half of a game, behind the 25 they gave up in a 94-81 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on March 3, 1972.

“Obviously, their defense was good, but Damian Lillard was just great early,” Clifford added. “He got them going with the high pick-and-roll game. I thought that was the biggest factor.”

Coach Clifford is correct. The Bucks are now a better team defensively under coach Doc Rivers.

Milwaukee has allowed fewer than 100 points in four of their last seven games after reaching that goal just once in their first 52 games of the season.

Moreover, the Bucks have won three straight since the All-Star break and improved to 6-7 with Rivers.

The Hornets and Bucks face off for the fourth time this season on Thursday night in Charlotte.