The return of Caron Butler helped the injury-ravaged Milwaukee
Bucks pick up a rare victory with their best offensive showing of
If previous meetings are any indication, the performance might
be difficult to replicate against the defensive-minded Charlotte
The Bucks look to win consecutive games for the first time this
season Monday night when they visit the Bobcats, who seek their
fourth victory in five games.
After missing 12 contests due to a swollen left knee, Butler
came up big in his return with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four
assists to help Milwaukee (6-21) snap a five-game losing streak
with a 116-106 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.
“The thing this team has desperately missed from him is his
leadership,” coach Larry Drew said. “Throughout the game he was on
the court talking, pumping his teammates up. We had a couple of bad
stretches, but he kept the guys positive.”
Despite Butler’s return, Drew’s club was still without John
Henson (knee), Ersan Ilyasova (ankle), Zaza Pachulia (foot), Gary
Neal (foot), Carlos Delfino (foot) and Larry Sanders (hand).
Help could be on the way, however, with Henson and Neal possibly
returning against the Bobcats. Henson has averaged 18.7 points and
12.3 rebounds in his last three games.
Khris Middleton, the only player to appear in all 27 games,
stepped up with 27 points and Brandon Knight added 21 on Saturday.
Middleton has averaged 20.3 points, while Knight scored 24.7 per
game over the last three – which included a pair of overtime
Though the Bucks are near the bottom of the league in scoring
(91.9) and field-goal percentage (42.0), they reached season highs
in both categories with 52.4 percent shooting against the
Milwaukee hasn’t been able to generate much offensively against
the Bobcats (13-15), totaling 148 points on 34.3 percent shooting
while dropping the first two meetings by a combined 40 points.
O.J. Mayo, averaging a team-high 13.9 points, has totaled nine
while missing 14 of 18 shots in the two games.
The Bobcats are among the NBA’s leaders in defensive scoring
(93.0) and field-goal percentage (42.6), and they’ve limited
opponents to an average of 87.7 points on 38.3 shooting in their
last three home games.
Charlotte, however, failed to score more than 85 for the third
time in four games there as its overall three-game winning streak
ended with an 88-85 loss to Utah on Saturday.
Al Jefferson finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds against his
former team, but missed two easy chances to put the Bobcats ahead
down the stretch. The victory would have gotten them back to .500
on the season.
“We did a good job defensively and gave ourselves a chance to
win but the ball didn’t go in,” said coach Steve Clifford, who lost
forward Jeffery Taylor for the season due to a torn right
Jefferson has averaged 22.3 points and 13.0 boards over his last
three games, and has put up 21.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in his
last four against the Bucks.
Kemba Walker, who had 20 points, has scored 26.2 per game while
shooting 62.3 percent in his last five, though he totaled 21 on
8-of-20 shooting in the two meetings with Milwaukee.
Gerald Henderson helped pick up the scoring slack with a
combined 36 points, hitting 14 of 25 shots in those contests.
The Bobcats have won the last three meetings overall and eight
of nine in Charlotte.