Damian Lillard scored 27 points for the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, who spoiled the return to action of Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges in a 130-99 victory Friday night during an NBA in-season tournament game.
The Bucks also received 20 points from Malik Beasley. Lillard and Beasley combined to make 11 of 20 shots from 3-point range as part of Milwaukee’s 22-for-45 (48.9 percent) shooting from deep.
Bridges, who was suspended for the season’s first 10 games, was back after a 583-day gap between games related to a domestic violence case. He scored 17 points in 33 minutes off the bench, and he also had five rebounds and four assists.
Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the Bucks’ Wednesday win in Toronto because of injury management, but he was back on the court to score 16 points, deliver nine assists and grab eight rebounds in 28 minutes.
Brook Lopez had 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting for the Bucks, Bobby Portis had 13 points, Khris Middleton added 11 points and Pat Connaughton scored 11.
LaMelo Ball led the Hornets with 37 points, bolstered by 11-for-12 success on free throws. He launched 28 shots from the field, making 12.
Mark Williams had 11 points and 16 rebounds and Brandon Miller notched 10 points for Charlotte.
The Hornets made only 6 of 26 shots (23.1 percent) from 3-point range, hurt by Ball’s 2-for-9 long-range accuracy.
Charlotte continues to miss injured guard Terry Rozier, while Gordon Hayward was back from a one-game absence but managed just two points in 29 minutes.
Eight Milwaukee players made at least one 3-point basket. The Bucks won despite taking only 13 free throws, making 10.
The Bucks were up 92-81 after three quarters, largely because Lillard made four 3-point shots in the third. Connaughton had two treys during the quarter.
The Hornets held a 37-28 lead after outscoring Milwaukee 14-5 to end the first quarter. Charlotte’s lead grew to 13 points in the second quarter before the Bucks got it together and led 59-57 at halftime.
The Bucks improved to 2-0 in East Group A tournament play, while the Hornets fell to 1-2.
–Field Level Media
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