Despite the return of demigod Michael Redd, Milwaukee had dropped six in a row before tonight, but the Hornets kept them under wraps during the first half, taking a 67-56 lead and giving up only one personal foul (by Desmond Mason, on Redd). What’s more, Tyson Chandler had his double-double by halftime.
As everyone knows, the time to score on the Bees is during the third quarter, and the Bucks duly pulled to within six, courtesy of long-ball prowess and nine Hornet turnovers. To kill time in the fourth, Sean and Gerry tried to analyze Rasual Butler’s shooting, Vaillancourt suggesting that in the absence of other explanations, Butler’s streakiness could be attributed to astrological factors. Rasual promptly dropped in two consecutive treys, half of a 12-1 run for the Bees, shutting down that line of thought. And the Bees won it 119-101, their highest point production all year.
Still, Redd outscored everyone, dropping in 27 of the 46 points scored by the Bucks’ starters. Lynn Greer and Ruben Patterson paced the bench with 19 and 10 respectively.
But the Hornets ruled the boards, outrebounding Milwaukee 47 to 25 Chandler got twenty, alongside 18 points and after that fourth-quarter spurt, they wound up with nine 3-balls, same as the Bucks, and on five fewer attempts yet. David West was deadly, hitting 8 of 11 from the floor and 8 of 8 from the line, for 24; Desmond Mason was right behind with 21. Chris Paul scored only 8, but dished up 14 assists; Butler, Jannero Pargo and Bobby Jackson were all in double figures off the bench.
Short road trip, this; the Hornets come back to the Ford tomorrow to host the Sonics. The Suns will be in town Friday.