Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/28

Game 1: Friday, December 28th
Game 2: Monday, February 18th
Game 3: Monday, March 18th
Game 4: Sunday, April 14th

Bucks 105

(17-9, 8-7 away)

Hornets 89

(13-16, 4-8 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, December 28, 2001

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 33 27 25 20105
    CHA 26 16 27 2089

    Top Performers

    Mil: S. Cassell 29 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Cha: L. Nailon 24 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast

    In hobbled matchup, Bucks prevail

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The rematch between Milwaukee and the Charlotte Hornets turned out to be no match at all. The Bucks don't expect that to be the trend in the rest of their meetings this season.

    Baron Davis


    Baron Davis sits dejected on the bench after re-injuring his right knee in the third quarter.

    Sam Cassell scored 29 points and Glenn Robinson added 21 to lead the Bucks, who beat Charlotte in seven games in last season's Eastern Conference semifinals, to a lopsided 105-89 victory over the Hornets on Friday night.

    "They're hurt right now, that's all," Cassell said. "And even so, we had to push it to beat them. So we know once they have all their bodies on the floor it will be a different story."

    The Hornets, who are already without forward Jamal Mashburn and are at least two weeks away from adding injured George Lynch to the lineup, lost leading scorer Baron Davis midway through the third quarter with a knee injury.

    "Once they get healthy, we'll see the real Hornets," Robinson said. "I know they'll be there to contend with later on."

    The Bucks, who won for the third time, have their own injury problems. Ray Allen missed his fourth straight game because of tendinitis in his left knee and the Bucks had Charlotte's team doctor look at his MRI results and speak to him after the game.

    "They say there's a bunch of inflammation and a lot of friction from the knee cap rubbing against the bone," Allen said. "Rest is the only thing that can heal it, I guess, and I've been doing that for two weeks. It's frustrating, but I hope to get back out there in the next few games."

    Davis, meanwhile, is having his own knee problems. He first injured his right knee in a collision with Michael Jordan on Wednesday night and was clearly bothered by it against the Bucks, missing nine of 10 shots in the first half.

    He then banged his knee again in the third quarter and hopped off the court for good with 8:21 left in the period. He finished with seven points on 2-of-11 shooting and is doubtful for Saturday's game against Washington.

    "If I can't play, I can't play and right now it hurts," said Davis, who is the only player from the 1999 draft who has yet to miss a game.

    The Hornets have now lost five of their last seven games, but Charlotte coach Paul Silas could only shrug about it.

    "I have no magical wand that I can wave -- if I don't have my players, we're not a very good team," he said.

    Lee Nailon led Charlotte with 24 points. David Wesley added 21 and Elden Campbell scored 16.

    Tim Thomas added 18 points for the Bucks and made three of their 11 3-pointers. Darvin Ham scored 12 and Michael Redd, starting in place of Allen, scored 10.

    The game got away from the Hornets in the second quarter when they opened the period with five reserves on the floor and quickly fell behind.

    The Hornets missed nine straight baskets in the period and fell behind 41-29 after Thomas and Rafer Alston hit consecutive 3s.

    Charlotte's starters returning to the game didn't help, either.

    Alston made another 3 that made it 48-29 and Charlotte couldn't snap the streak until Wesley's 19-footer with 6:13 to go that cut Milwaukee's lead to 50-31.

    The Bucks answered by extending their lead to 23 points on Ham's hook-armed dunk that made it 56-33. Ham celebrated the basket by doing a dance under the hoop, drawing a technical foul that sparked the Hornets to five unanswered points.

    Charlotte, which was 3-for-19 at one point in the period and shot 7-of-25 in the quarter, trailed 60-42 at the break.

    Charlotte was able to pull within 11 in the fourth quarter, but Robinson and Redd answered with consecutive 3-pointers to make it 101-86 and seal the win.

    Game notes
    Bucks coach George Karl said Allen had not run or jumped on his leg since injuring it, but was optimistic he would be returning to the lineup soon. "I'm hoping within the next three or four games we'll see him again." ... Davis missed his first four shots while Wesley opened 5-for-5. ... After selling out the Coliseum for the first time this season for Wednesday's game against Washington, roughly 10,000 fans turned out to see the Bucks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 105 89
    FGM-FGA 42-89 (.472) 35-91 (.385)
    3PM-3PA 11-26 (.423) 2-12 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 10-14 (.714) 17-23 (.739)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-48 15-47
    Assists 21 26
    Turnovers 14 9
    Steals 6 10
    Blocks 5 5
    Fast Break Points 9 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (1/0) 12 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Sam Cassell Cassell
    Points: 29
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Lee Nailon Nailon
    Points: 24
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0