NBA: Hornets complete two-game sweep of Bucks

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 11 2022 11:05 AM

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) reacts after making a three point basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second period at the Spectrum Center. Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) reacts after making a three point basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second period at the Spectrum Center. Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

LaMelo Ball scored the winning basket as part of a 23-point outing, leading the Charlotte Hornets to a 103-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

Charlotte swept two games against the defending NBA champions across three nights to complete a 3-0 homestand.

Ball made the tiebreaking basket on a floater as he crossed the lane with 15.4 seconds to play. After a timeout, Milwaukee committed its 20th turnover on the ensuing inbounds play before Miles Bridges made a pair of clinching free throws.

Terry Rozier racked up 27 points, Bridges finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds and Gordon Hayward provided 14 points as the Hornets overcame 13-for-44 shooting from 3-point range (29.5 percent).

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Khris Middleton's 27 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo's 26 points paced the Bucks, who have lost four of their past five games. Jordan Nwora added 18 points and Wesley Matthews had 13 points. Antetokounmpo grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, and Middleton dished out a game-best 11 assists.

Charlotte topped Milwaukee 114-106 on Saturday night. This time, the Bucks finally caught up from a 15-point, third-quarter hole when Antetokounmpo dunked on a drive with 2:39 to play to level the score at 95.

Rozier put the Hornets back on top with two free throws. The edge grew to 99-95 on Bridges' basket with 42.8 seconds to go before the Bucks countered with a four-point possession. Antetokounmpo scored and was fouled at the 38.8-second mark. He missed the ensuing free throw, but it was tipped in by Matthews.

The Hornets were without Kelly Oubre Jr., who has been an offensive spark off the bench. Oubre, who entered the NBA's health and safety protocol, had 18 points Saturday night.

The Bucks remained without Jrue Holiday (ankle) and Grayson Allen (COVID-19 protocol). Pat Connaughton returned from a three-game, protocol-induced absence but was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting in 23 minutes.

Charlotte led by nine after the first quarter, but Milwaukee got it rolling in the second to take a 48-47 edge into halftime.

The Hornets built a 78-63 lead with less than three minutes to play in the third quarter. Nwora scored seven points in the last 94 seconds of the period to fuel the Bucks' comeback.