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Snell scores 26 points, Bucks beat Hornets 118-108

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Tony Snell doesn’t mind being the fourth option in the Milwaukee Bucks offense. There are certain nights, like Tuesday, March 28th, when it pays not to be the center of attention.

Snell scored a season-high 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 20 points and eight rebounds and the hot-shooting Bucks handed the Charlotte Hornets’ playoff hopes a potentially devastating blow with a 118-108 victory.

“It’s a credit to Giannis and Khris (Middleton),” Snell said. “They draw a lot of attention and there was good ball movement. It was a good night.”

Malcolm Brogdon had 14 points and 10 assists for his second double-double of the season, and the Bucks won for the 12th time in 15 games.

“He did a great job knocking down shots and just being aggressive off the dribble and going to the rim,” Antetokounmpo said. “He’s done a great job. He’s not just defending, he’s out there making shots for us and spacing the floor. For me and Khris, we help him, and he’ll help us too. When he makes shots the court is wide-open for me, Moose (Greg Monroe) and everybody.”

The Bucks (38-36) made 20 of their first 26 shots and hit 73 percent from the field in the first half to take a 72-50 lead into the locker room.

Snell, Brogdon and Antetokounmpo were a combined 15 of 18 from the field in the first half, while Milwaukee’s bench combined to hit 12 of 17 shots before the break.

“I thought Tony’s reads and being able to drive the ball was able to set up a lot of things,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “We had a lot of open shots in the second half that we didn’t knock down. We can’t live or die by the 3, but our defense did a good job and slowed down a good offensive team like Charlotte.”

The Bucks scored with ease on crisp passes, piling up 31 assists. The Hornets appeared a step slow on defense.

“Our defense was beyond bad,” said a visibly frustrated Hornets coach Steve Clifford.

Charlotte trailed by 26 in the second and never got closer than nine.

Charlotte (33-41) entered in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and fell three games behind the Miami Heat for the final playoff spot with nine games remaining.

Clifford was disappointed with his team’s effort, particularly given the magnitude of the game, saying the “care factor” wasn’t there.

“These are the games where the competitors show up — and we didn’t,” Clifford said. “We got killed tonight.”

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