Milwaukee Bucks fall to Charlotte Hornets 126-121
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Malik Monk said his goal was just to bring a little energy to the Charlotte Hornets in the fourth quarter.
The rookie from Kentucky did a whole lot more than that.
Monk scored 16 of Charlotte’s first 18 points in the fourth quarter to help the Hornets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 126-121 on Wednesday night for their third straight win.
“I can score,” Monk said with a laugh.
The Bucks learned that the hard way.
Kemba Walker had 26 points, Monk scored 18 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and the Hornets put the clamps on the NBA’s leading scorer, holding Giannis Antetokounmpo to a season-low 14 points and 13 rebounds. Antetokounmpo came in averaging 33.7 points per game, but struggled with foul trouble and was limited to five points in the final three quarters.
Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 43 points. Malcolm Brogdon added 20.
But this was Monk’s night.
The Hornets trailed 86-85 when Antetokounmpo picked up his fifth foul with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Hornets went on a 21-9 tear behind Monk and fellow rookie Dwayne Bacon. Monk had four 3-pointers early in the fourth and Bacon made some clutch shots to help stretch the lead and finished with 10 points.
When Antetokounmpo returned with 7:21 remaining, the Bucks were down 11 and could never regain the lead.
“I like shooting the ball, but attacking is going to help open everything else for my teammates,” Monk said.
The effort certainly impressed Bucks coach Jason Kidd.
“He made some great plays and you have to tip your hat to the rookie making shots,” Kidd said. “As we go forward we’ll have a better scouting report, but we know he can shoot the ball and he can get going. He’s done that in college and he did that tonight.”