The Charlotte Bobcats have hit a snag and look to halt a five-game losing streak Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Save a lopsided 114-69 loss to the Oklahoma City on Nov. 26, when the slide began, the Bobcats have been competitive in each of their last four defeats.
Charlotte was handed a 100-98 setback Wednesday versus the New York Knicks in the finale of an unsuccessful homestand and was burned by J.R. Smith's game- winning basket as time expired. Kemba Walker paced the Bobcats with 25 points and 11 assists, Gerald Henderson scored 18 points and Ben Gordon totaled 17.
"They played some good defense at the end," Walker said of the Knicks. "I thought we got some pretty good shots too, but we made a few mistakes that cost us really. We just got to get better with that kind of stuff."
The Knicks scored 23 points off 14 Bobcats' turnovers. Walker registered his first double-double of the season and has scored in double figures in 16 of 17 games this season, including five games with 20-plus points. Walker leads the team in scoring (17.1), assists (6.2) and steals (2.1).
The Bobcats' last four defeats have been by no more than six points. They are 6-2 this season in games decided by four points or less. Bobcats forward Byron Mullens had only six points versus the Knicks, but is averaging 13.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in his past 11 games.
Charlotte needs one more win to eclipse last season's total of seven (7-59).
After visiting Milwaukee, the Bobcats will return home for three straight games versus the Spurs, Warriors and Clippers.
The Bucks haven't played so well lately either, losing two straight and seven of nine games, and are back home after a quick road trip.
Milwaukee suffered a 110-99 setback at San Antonio on Wednesday as Monta Ellis posted 21 points and 11 assists to lead the way. It was Ellis' 30th career double-double. Ersan Ilyasova scored 17 points in the loss for a Bucks team that was outscored 24-7 early on in the fourth quarter.
"They just went on a run and we couldn't get back into the game," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles.
Skiles' squad hasn't scored 100 points in each of its last seven games and is averaging 96.2 ppg this season. On the injury front for Milwaukee, forward Mike Dunleavy is doubtful for Friday with a bruised left knee.
The Bucks lost at Charlotte 102-98 on Nov. 19 this season, but have won 20 of the 29 matchups in this series. The Bobcats are winless in eight straight trips to the Bradley Center, where they are just 1-13 all-time.