MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gary Neal liked returning to Milwaukee much better than he enjoyed playing there.
Kemba Walker scored 21 points and Al Jefferson added 16 of his 20 in the second half to help the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Bucks 101-92 on Sunday for their fourth straight victory.
Neal added 18 in his return to Milwaukee after the Bucks traded him to Charlotte last month. Gerald Henderson scored 14 as the Bobcats matched their longest winning streak of the season, set Feb. 18-22.
With the victory, the Bobcats (33-34) are 1 ½ games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The two face each other Wednesday in Brooklyn and then seven days later in Charlotte.
After a quiet first half, Neal got it going in the second and scored 10 points in a strong fourth quarter.
"In the first half I got into a little bit of foul trouble, so my minutes were kind of cut short because of that," Neal said. "I credit my teammates. They were able to find me and kind of make the game easier for me."
Neal and Luke Ridnour faced their former teammates for the first time since being traded by the Bucks last month.
Milwaukee sent Neal and Ridnour to Charlotte on Feb. 20 for Adrien and Ramon Sessions. Neal complained about his role with the Bucks and clashed with coach Larry Drew and center Larry Sanders, who is out indefinitely with a fractured orbital bone.
Neal got into a heated exchange with Sanders in the Bucks' locker room after the 116-100 loss to the Suns in Phoenix on Jan. 4. Then Neal, in his fourth season in the NBA, fell out of the rotation when Drew played younger players.
"Since I've been in Charlotte, I have been playing well," Neal said. "I have been efficient and effective. Hopefully, I will be able to keep that up."
He shot 5 of 6 and made all six free throw attempts.
"I am a Bobcat now," Neal said. "So, I am focused and concentrating on my house right now. That is in Charlotte. We finished the game well. We executed the last three minutes and we were able to come away with the win. An important win for us."