Bucks lose season opener to Charlotte Bobcats 96-95
CHARLOTTE -- D.J. Augustin scored 19 points, rookie Kemba Walker added 13, including two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining, and the Charlotte Bobcats erased a 14-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 96-95 on Monday night in their season opener.
Gerald Henderson added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats.
Brandon Jennings had 22 points for the Bucks, while Andrew Bogut had 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Bobcats got a huge lift off the bench from Walker and center Byron Mullens, who was acquired in a trade last week with the Thunder. Walker scored nine points in the second half, creating shots off the dribble, and chipped in with seven rebounds. Mullens was 5 of 7 from the field for 10 points.
The Bobcats led 89-81 with 2:10 left, but the Bucks needed less than a minute to erase that deficit. Jennings hit a pair of 3-pointers and Mike Dunleavy added another from the corner to take a 90-89 lead.
Augustin made a driving layup with 36.5 seconds left to give the Bobcats the lead, 93-92.
Dunleavy had a chance to put the Bucks ahead but missed an open 3-pointer with 11 seconds left. Walker was fouled and made both free throws to seal the win.
Walker gave the Bobcats an emotional lift off the bench in his first real game since leading Connecticut to the NCAA championship.
Late in the game he made a nice drive to the basket and a scoop shoot while drawing a foul, bringing Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, seated courtside, off his seat. Newton and Walker, who both wear No. 1, have forged a friendship.
Stephen Jackson had a frustrating game against his former team. After downplaying his return to Charlotte before the game, Jackson fouled out and was charged with a technical foul. He was
just 1 of 5 from field and finished with six points.
Before the game, Bobcats coach Paul Silas laughed off the notion of this being just another game for the emotional Jackson, saying, "Stephen Jackson is going to try to kill us.'' But it was Shaun Livingston, who was also a part of the draft-day trade that sent Jackson to the Bucks, who hurt the Bobcats in the first half. While Jackson was struggling with foul trouble, Livingston had 11 of his 14 points as the Bucks built a 52-41 lead.
Jackson game went over to Bobcats owner Michael Jordanand shook hands before the game.
NOTES: Newton had front row seats to Monday night's game. At one point he went over to Jordan and shook hands and chatted. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter also took in Monday night's game from a private box.