Jefferson leads Bobcats to 96-72 rout of Bucks

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm •  Published: November 23, 2013
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Al Jefferson muscled his way through the Bucks' defense.

Then he cooled off by sticking the right ankle that had been bothering him in a bucket of ice.

The Charlotte Bobcats are picking things up quickly with Jefferson in the middle again after the injury that had forced him out of the lineup.

Jefferson scored 19 points, Gerald Henderson added 17 and the Bobcats handed the Milwaukee Bucks their eighth straight loss in a 96-72 win Saturday night.

Jefferson, in his second game back from an ankle injury, added seven rebounds for Charlotte, which has won two of three to pull back to .500 (7-7).

"My first game back, I was a little rusty," Jefferson said while icing down the ankle.

The Bobcats lost to Phoenix 98-91 on Friday night, when Jefferson finished with nine points in his first action after missing four games.

"But it never fails the second game. It like clicked," Jefferson said while snapping his fingers. "And that's what we did better than last night."

Reserve Khris Middleton (20 points) led the Bucks, who shot just 35 percent. Milwaukee's losing streak is its longest since closing out the 2007-8 season with eight consecutive losses.

Coach Larry Drew was optimistic before the game that his team would bounce back from a 115-107 loss in overtime to Philadelphia on Friday night.

Instead, the Bucks struggled again. At 2-10, they're the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

"I owe the fans a big, big apology for the performance of this team tonight. Very, very disappointed," Drew said. "A team that I really thought after last night's loss would come out and play with some energy, with some passion and they did not do that."

Middleton outscored the Bucks' starting five of Caron Butler, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, O.J. Mayo and Luke Ridnour, who combined for 16 points on 8-of-28 shooting.

Charlotte led the entire way, building on a 46-39 halftime lead. A smattering of boos came down for the Bucks with Charlotte up 23 after three quarters.

"I told the guys after the game that there will be changes in our starting lineup," Drew said. "If they're not on the same page with it, so be it, but there will be changes."

The Bobcats outmuscled the Bucks to pull away. Jeff Adrien added 10 rebounds off the bench for Charlotte, which had decisive edges on the boards (52-36) and points in the paint (48-28).

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