Rivers wins No. 1,099 as Bucks trounce Hornets 120-84 to send Charlotte to its 10th straight loss

By CHARLES GARDNER Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Doc Rivers won his 1,099th regular-season game to move into eighth place on the NBA’s list, Damian Lillard scored 26 points in his return from a two-game injury absence and the Milwaukee Bucks cruised past short-handed Charlotte 120-84 on Friday night to send the Hornets to their 10th straight loss.

Malik Beasley made seven 3-pointers on nine attempts and finished with 21 points for Milwaukee, which improved to 2-5 under Rivers, who replaced Adrian Griffin. Rivers moved past Larry Brown on the regular-season victories list.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 15 points and 15 rebounds in just 24 minutes, and Bobby Portis added 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Bucks led by 28 points at halftime and increased their lead to as many as 42 in the second half.

Lillard missed the previous two games — both losses — with a sprained left ankle but showed no ill effects Friday. He shot 9 of 18 and added eight assists in 29 minutes.

Brandon Miller and Nick Richards each scored 16 points for the Hornets (10-41), who had just 10 available players and used all of them after making several moves at the trade deadline Thursday.

It was the 13th game this season that Beasley made five or more 3-pointers, breaking a Bucks franchise mark held by Ray Allen. Beasley had struggled from 3-point range against Minnesota on Thursday, going 0 for 9 in the Bucks’ lopsided loss to the Timberwolves.

But he shot 5 of 6 from beyond the arc in the first half against the Hornets, leading the Bucks to a 66-38 halftime lead. Beasley sank a 3 with less than a second remaining to give the Bucks their biggest lead of the half.

Milwaukee made 12 of 28 shots from 3-point range in the half, and Beasley led the way with 15 points while Bobby Portis had 13, Antetokounmpo 12 and Lillard 11.

The Bucks finished 18 of 52 from 3-point range (34.6%).

Veteran guard Patrick Beverley made his Bucks debut after being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on Thursday. He checked in to a loud ovation with 2:28 left in the first quarter and drilled a 3-pointer from the corner on his first shot. He finished with six points and four assists in 12 minutes.

“Pat is competitive,” Rivers said before the game. “That word can’t be used enough. It’s not going to hurt his pride if you score on him. He’s coming back at you.”

“He talks a lot on defense. He talks a lot to the opponent. He talks a lot on his podcast. He talks a lot, and a lot of that is good for us.”

Beverley was acquired to help bolster the Bucks’ perimeter defense, which has struggled to stop opposing guards this season.

The Hornets were depleted after making several deals at the trade deadline, including acquiring Seth Curry and Grant Williams from Dallas on Thursday. Curry and Williams were scheduled to join the team in Charlotte, where the Hornets will play Memphis on Saturday night.

UP NEXT

Bucks: Host Denver on Monday.

Hornets: Host Memphis on Saturday.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

First appeared on www.cbs58.com

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