Neal's 3-pointer with 1:06 left sealed Charlotte's fourth win in
a row and 14th road victory of the season. He finished with 18
points, three behind guard Kemba Walker's team-leading 21.
The hostility from the home crowd stemmed mainly from Neal's recent
remark to the San Antonio Express-News that he was playing "real
basketball" with the Bobcats. Neal defended his comment before the
game, claiming it was about himself rather than a slight aimed at
"I'm a Bobcat now, so I'm focused and concentrating on my house now,
and that is in Charlotte," Neal said. "We finished the game well, we
executed the last three minutes and we were able to come away with a
win, a big win."
Milwaukee guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien continued
their improved play against their former team. Sessions led the
Bucks in bench points with 18, his highest total since joining the
team, and Adrien came on strong late to finish with 12 points and
continue a career-best streak of four games with 10 points or more.
"We're right there in these games," Adrien said. "We've just got to
learn how to finish them. Just got to make those plays at the end of
the game. The game's not won in the first or second quarters, it's
really won in the fourth."
Bucks guard Brandon Knight tied Walker with a game-high with 21
points and said his team showed a "little lack of effort" late.
"You have to give yourself a chance to win by getting stops in the
fourth quarter — consecutive stops," Knight said. "I think they
scored on their last four out of five possessions, so it's tough to
win games in the fourth quarter — in the last four minutes — if
you don't get stops."
Sessions and Knight paced the Bucks to a 50-46 halftime lead with 12
points each. The Bobcats trailed at the break despite shooting 54.8
percent from the field. They turned the ball over 10 times, though,
in the first 24 minutes.
Walker led Charlotte with 12 first-half points and guard Gerald
Henderson added 10.
After scoring just four points in the first
half, forward Al Jefferson keyed a Charlotte rally with 10
third-quarter points, giving the Bobcats the lead three different
times. While posting a solid 20-point, seven-rebound effort,
Jefferson's streak of games with 25 or more points and 10 or more
rebounds ended at three.
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"I had to wake up," Jefferson said. "I had to get my body going. It
was terrible out there. We knew we had to get to our defense because
that's what's been getting us through these tough games all year
Neal put the Bobcats up by four with two free throws late in the
third quarter, but Adrien scored on a contested layup to cut
Milwaukee's deficit to 76-74 heading into the fourth quarter.
Neal's 10 points in the final 12 minutes helped the Bobcats pull
away late and complete a sweep of the four-game season series
between the teams.
With the win, Charlotte continued to hold down the seventh spot in
the Eastern Conference and now sits 1 1/2 games behind the
sixth-place Brooklyn Nets.
Milwaukee lost its fourth game in a row after being formally
eliminated from postseason contention on Saturday.
NOTES: This was the fourth and final meeting between the teams this
season, with Charlotte taking all three of the previous games. ...
Milwaukee had never been swept by the Bobcats in a season series.
... F Jeff Adrien and G Ramon Sessions played in their 13th game for
the Bucks since being acquired from Charlotte on Feb. 20 for G Gary
Neal and G Luke Ridnour. ... Neal played in his first game against
his former team after scoring 19 in the Bobcats' win over Minnesota
on Friday night. ... Bucks F John Henson started in place of injured
Ersan Ilyasova (right ankle). ... F Zaza Pachulia pulled down his
600th rebound as a member of the Bucks late in the first half.
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