By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
When the Hornets selected Malik Monk with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, they knew they had a steal. Shooting guards who can score in bunches in a hurry are a hot commodity in the NBA and Charlotte knew it might have unearthed a gem in the Kentucky product. But Monk has shown he isn’t just a shooting guard. With the Hornets dealing with multiple injuries to point guards Michael Carter-Williams (knee) and Julyan Stone (hamstring), Monk has stepped in to the backup point guard role. On Wednesday against the Bucks, Monk stepped in at the point and up at a crucial time, scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter on his way to a 25-point outburst as the Hornets came away with their third-straight win, 126-121, at Spectrum Center.
Tied 88-88 after three quarters, the Hornets needed a spark to start the fourth and it was Monk who delivered in a variety of ways. He started things off with a 21-foot jumper off a dribble-handoff from Cody Zeller followed by a Monk three from the right side on Charlotte’s ensuing possession. It was the first of four-straight treys for Monk, with the next three coming after a Dwayne Bacon jumper. Monk capped the treys with a driving bucket to give Charlotte a 106-95 lead in the first five minutes of the final frame. Monk would finish with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from long range in the five-minute stretch that broke the game open for the Hornets.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Malik Monk gear here)
Rookie Malik Monk scored a career-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 5-of-8 from long range. His five three-pointers made him only the fifth rookie in franchise history to make 5+ threes in one game. A total of 18 of Monk’s career-high 25 points came in the fourth quarter, the highest total from a Charlotte player in one quarter this season.
Bucks Player of the Game
Khris Middleton finished with a career-high 43 points on 15-of-28 shooting from the field, including 5-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc, and 8-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line. He also dished out a game-high seven assists and grabbed five rebounds.
With 26 points, Kemba Walker set a new franchise record with 193 career games of 20+ points passing Larry Johnson (192) and a new franchise record with 110 career games with 25+ points passing Glen Rice (109)… Walker posted 20 points in the first half, his highest first half total and second 20+ point half this season. 12 of his points came in the second quarter on 4-of-5 shooting including 2-2 from beyond the arc… Walker also went 7-of-7 from the free throw line this evening. He entered the game leading the NBA in free throws made per game with 7.4 per game and shooting a career-high 91.2 percent… Dwight Howard had 17 points and 11 rebounds to go along with a season-high-tying three assists (previous: 3 vs. ORL 10/29). This is his sixth double-double in eight games this season… With 16 points, Jeremy Lamb has registered his eighth-straight game with 15+ points, extending his career-long streak of games with 15+ points… Marvin Williams scored a season-high 15 points (previous: 13 vs. ORL 10/29)… Hornets reserves outscored the Bucks bench, 52-23, led by 25 points from Malik Monk, 11 from Frank Kaminksy and 10 from Dwayne Bacon… Treveon Graham dished out a career-high five assists this evening (previous: 3 at MIL 10/23)… Giannis Antetokounmpo had a season-low 14 points (previous: 28, done twice). He entered leading the NBA in scoring at 33.7 points per game.
Quote of the Night
“(Malik Monk) caught fire (in the fourth quarter). We couldn’t slow him down. We changed up and put different people on him and he just found his shot. You have to give him credit, he made some tough shots.” – Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd
The Hornets open up a four-game road trip at 8:30 p.m. on Friday in San Antonio. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.