On a day when the Charlotte Bobcats hosted a “Cool School Field Trip” for area students, the Milwaukee Bucks played the role of bully.
Up 20 points in the third quarter, the Bobcats (1-6) struggled down the stretch in a 100-90 home loss to the Bucks on Thursday morning.
Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap said many factors contributed to the loss.
“I don't know that our shooting percentage was particularly sexy,” Dunlap said. “That's been something as we know with time will come, in my opinion. (Milwaukee) extended their pressure, and we needed to go to a screening game. I could have helped them a little bit more with that. So that was on me.”
A jumper by Gerald Henderson with 8:04 left in the third quarter gave Charlotte a 71-51 lead, but Milwaukee (3-4) forged a comeback that included eight different players scoring during the next 11 minutes.
That offensive spurt allowed the Bucks to gain the lead, 82-81, with 8:46 left in the game after a jumper from Beno Udrih.
The Bobcats scored 35 points in the second half after tallying 55 in the first half.
Charlotte also made just 13-of-47 (27.6 percent) field goals in the third and fourth quarters.
Center Brendan Haywood said the team is still going through a learning process of trying to get familiar with one another.
“Right now, everyone is trying to get comfortable with each other,” he said. “We have a lot of new guys in here, and we’ve got some rookies. Coach is trying different line-ups because he is just trying to see who plays well with each other because he doesn’t know yet and we don’t know yet. It is a process.”
The bright spot for Charlotte was second-year guard Kemba Walker, who scored 20 points, dished seven assists and committed no turnovers.
“I’m working really hard,” Walker said. “I’m putting in extra time after practice. I’m trying my best to get better every game. It just showed in (today’s) game.”
Forward Tobias Harris scored a team-high 18 points to lead the Bucks.
Former Duke standout and current Milwaukee forward Mike Dunleavy added 17 points off of the bench.
Charlotte has one final preseason game on the road tonight against the Dallas Mavericks before kicking off its regular season next Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena against the Indiana Pacers.
Dunlap said he is optimistic about his team’s future prospects despite the difficult loss Thursday.
“There is so much more good going on than bad,” he said. “I think we are continuing to forge ahead in the right direction.”