The Hornets’ bench has outscored its opponents 342-320 in the team’s 14 wins, but has been outscored 196-150 in New Orleans’ seven losses.
Point guard Darrell Armstrong came off the bench Saturday to lead New Orleans in scoring for the second straight game as the Hornets defeated Chicago 97-91. Armstrong, who played with stitches in his elbow, finished with 23 points as five Hornets scored in double figures.
“Coach (Tim Floyd) … said we’re going to need your energy because Baron (Davis) wasn’t feeling good, was a little under the weather,” said Armstrong, who hit a 3-pointer to spark a decisive 13-2 run late in the fourth quarter. “Smitty (Steve Smith) came in first and gave us some energy and I came in and brought the same.
“Next thing you know, we’re looking up, we’re on the break, getting the easy lay-up and shots. We just found a way. That’s what this team is all about, trying to find a way to win.”
Davis credited the Hornets’ reserves with setting a favorable tone.
“The bench was able to come up with the stops and were scoring at will,” said Davis, who finished with 19 points.
The Hornets have enjoyed a lot of success against the Bucks, winning 34 of 58 meetings, including four of the last six.
Milwaukee has dropped three of its last four overall, including a 114-109 overtime loss to Washington on Saturday.
The Bucks hurt themselves by missing nine of 11 shots in the extra session and 14 free throws overall, including 10 by Desmond Mason, who missed eight alone in the third quarter.
The Bucks recently signed forward Dan Langhi to replace Tony Kukoc, who is on injured reserve because of back spasms.
Tim Thomas has missed six straight games with a sprained right ankle.