Milwaukee Bucks' Tony Snell (21) dunks over Charlotte Hornets' Marvin Williams (2) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony
Snell scored a season-high 26 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo
had 20 points and eight rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks
handed the Charlotte Hornets' playoff hopes a potentially
devastating blow with a 118-108 victory on Tuesday night.
Malcolm Brogdon had 14 points and 10 assists for his second double-double of the season, and the Bucks won for the 12th time in 15 games.
Snell finished 10 of 14 from the field and had four 3-pointers.
Charlotte (33-41) entered in 11th place in the Eastern Conference but only two games behind the Miami Heat and in dire need of a win with only nine games remaining.
But Milwaukee had other plans in mind.
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks against Charlotte Hornets' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) and Frank Kaminsky (44) in the first half.
The Bucks (38-36) came out on
fire, making 20 of their first 26 shots en route to a
wire-to-wire win. They shot 73 percent from the field in the
first half to take a 72-50 lead into the locker room. Snell,
Brogdon and Antetokounmpo were a combined 15 of 18 from the
field in the first half, while Milwaukee's bench combined to
hit 12 of 17 shots before the break.
The Bucks did it with sharp passes, piling up 31 assists while leaving the Hornets seemingly a step slow on defense.
Charlotte trailed by 26 in the second half but cut the lead to 11 with 4:32 left on a transition 3-pointer by Jeremy Lamb from the top of the key.
But Charlotte never cut the lead to single digits until the final minute of the game.
The Bucks finished the game 14 of 30 from 3-point range.
Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker, right, drives against Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton, left, in the first half.
Bucks: Greg Monroe had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. ... The Bucks earned their first season series win against Charlotte since the 2011-12 season. ... They improved to 19-7 this season when shooting better than 50 percent from the field. ... They're 32-16 when scoring at least 100 points.
Hornets: Hornets guard Marco Belinelli left the game late in the fourth quarter with a gash over his right eye after a collision with Khris Middleton. ... They outscored the Bucks 15-2 on fastbreak points.
Bucks: Travel to Boston to face the Celtics on Wednesday night.
Hornets: At Toronto on Wednesday night.