The struggling Milwaukee Bucks showed some emotion and fight in coach Larry Krystkowiak’s debut.
They now look for consecutive victories for the first time in more than two weeks and to stay perfect against the Charlotte Bobcats when the teams meet Saturday night at the Bradley Center.
Krystkowiak replaced the fired Terry Stotts before Milwaukee’s game against San Antonio on Thursday, and the Bucks (24-41) responded with perhaps their biggest victory of the season, a 101-90 triumph over the Spurs, ending their 13-game winning streak.
“A lot of times, you get a little adrenaline and spark,” said Krystkowiak, an assistant who was promoted and given a multiyear deal hours after the team fired Stotts on Wednesday. “I anticipated our guys playing hard.”
Bucks point guard Mo Williams showed perhaps too much spark, getting ejected after being given two technical fouls for arguing with the referees in the third quarter. But his replacement, Lynn Greer, responded with three 3-pointers and a career-high 14 points—all in the fourth quarter as he finished 4-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
“It was a lot of fun,” Greer said. “(I’m) just glad Coach K had confidence to put me out there in the fourth quarter, and (I) made the most of it.”
Michael Redd scored 29 points as the Bucks shot 53.4 percent (39-for-73) from the field and shared the ball well, totaling 25 assists. Milwaukee, which has not won back-to-back games since a three-game winning streak from Feb. 24-March 2, has shot 47 percent or better in its last four games.
Milwaukee is 8-0 all-time against Charlotte, including a 4-0 mark at the Bradley Center, where the Bucks have outscored the Bobcats by an average of nine points.
Charlotte (24-42) settled for a split of its four-game homestand with a 102-93 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. Using a makeshift lineup because of injuries, Raymond Felton scored 18 points to lead a Bobcats team minus starters forward Sean May (sore right knee), forward Emeka Okafor (strained calf), center Primoz Brezec (sprained left ankle), and guard Brevin Knight (strained groin).
The Bobcats got off to a quick start by making 13 of 19 attempts in the first quarter, but sank just 18 baskets the remaining three quarters as they were held to 56 points.
“We put ourselves in a great situation to be in the game, and a great situation to win the game,” Felton said. “It just didn’t fall our way. … (The hot start) tired us out. No excuses. Shots weren’t falling and they started hitting.”
Charlotte is two wins shy of matching its franchise record of 26 wins established last season, but is also trying to snap a six-game road losing streak.
The Bucks won the only game between the teams thus far this season, a 99-91 victory without an injured Redd at Charlotte as Earl Boykins had 30 points and Andrew Bogut added 27, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Matt Carroll hit five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points for the Bobcats, while Felton added 14 points and nine assists.