Bucks to stop vs. Hornets?

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Home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs still beckons for the Hornets. Last night’s setback in Detroit, however, didn’t help matters.

Charlotte ultimately failed to overcome a 26-point deficit in the fourth quarter, suffering a 112-105 defeat at the hands of the Pistons. Fortunately, this evening’s opponent almost guarantees a quick reversal of fortune.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv list the reeling Bucks as 4-point underdogs vs. the Hornets. As for the over/under total, it rests at 202.

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While Charlotte fell to sixth place in the Eastern Conference race a little more than 24 hours ago, Milwaukee (30-43) hasn’t been able to consider the postseason picture in months. Jason Kidd’s players, losers of four straight, barely shot 40 percent in Atlanta yesterday. They’re rarely better at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, either, averaging 90 points in the last three home contests.

Then again, everyone not named Kemba Walker must contribute a bit extra for Steve Clifford’s squad. The UConn product was the only Hornet to eclipse the 11-point mark last night. His combined shooting rate in his past six trips to Wisconsin: 55.6 percent.

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Charlotte (41-31) holds itself to a higher standard now, so another letdown against a lower-echelon adversary would be surprising. Bank on the Hornets to buzz toward their ninth win in 12 road affairs.

SATURDAY NBA FREE PICK: CHARLOTTE -4

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