For the second straight season, the Milwaukee Bucks laid an egg opening the season in front of their home fans, falling 107-96 to the Charlotte Hornets.
The problems that plagued Milwaukee in its opener are the same that tortured the Bucks last season: an inability to make 3-pointers and lengthy defensive lapses that allowed opponents to build double-digit leads.
Milwaukee made just 3 of 16 3-point attempts and Charlotte shot 45 percent from the field and outrebounded the Bucks 51-46.
"They came out and pressed us right away and it just got out of rhythm for us," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "We should have accepted that pressure and moved the ball. It's a lot of good stuff, but there's a lot of work to be done."
The only bright spot for the Bucks was the play of forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who hit 13 of 21 shots from the field for 31 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes.
"Giannis was great," Kidd said. "We need that for the whole season. He was off the charts, but he's got to get his teammates to join him."
It was the third career 30-plus scoring game for Antetokounmpo, who is handling the bulk of Milwaukee's ball-handling duties this season.
"I think we have to do a better job of giving that extra effort, Antetokounmpo said. "As Coach (Kidd) said about the 50/50 balls, it went to them and we have to do a better job of rebounding the ball. There's a lot of things we have to clean up. We are going to work on it, though."
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will try to turn things around Saturday when playing host to the Brooklyn Nets at the Bradley Center.
The Nets opened the season with a 122-117 loss Wednesday at Boston but turned things around Friday night with a 103-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Brooklyn.
Brook Lopez led the way, scoring 25 points and grabbing five rebounds. Brooklyn also got a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double from Trevor Booker. >> Read more at SNY.tv...