Davis and Mashburn each scored 22 points to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 113-98 victory Friday night.
The pair also kept the Milwaukee backcourt of Gary Payton and Sam Cassell in check for much of the game. Cassell, who finished with 13 points, had only seven through the first three quarters. Payton, who averages about 21 points, finished with 17 against New Orleans.
“The key was playing tough defense on those guys, who are an up-and-down, up-tempo team and very perimeter-oriented,” Mashburn said.
Davis scored 15 points in the first half, including two breakaway dunks he started himself with steals near midcourt. New Orleans built a 70-44 halftime lead that was insurmountable. It was the first time the Hornets scored 70 in a half this season.
“We played a really good defensive game and got our hands on a lot of balls early and that allowed us to get out on the fast break and get some easy buckets,” Davis said. “I thought we could accomplish a lot of things if we pushed the ball at them. They’re known for giving up a lot of points, so that’s what we wanted to do.”
From the end of the third quarter to several minutes into the fourth, Milwaukee used an 18-9 run to pull to 93-77 with about nine minutes left. But Davis responded with a 3 off the glass, then fed an alley-oop to Jamaal Magloire that pushed the lead back up to 21.
Magloire finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while P.J. Brown hit all five of his shots from the field and all four of his free throws for 14 points. Reserve Courtney Alexander added 12 and Jerome Moiso had a couple of strong inside moves for dunks on his way to 10 points.
Reserve guard Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 24 points, shooting 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Desmond Mason was Milwaukee’s strongest player inside, scoring 21 on several soaring dunks or finger rolls.
Milwaukee, playing zone defense, had trouble stopping the Hornets inside, whether on penetration by Davis or post-ups by Magloire and Mashburn. At one point in the first half, New Orleans had scored 32 points in the paint, while Milwaukee had 37 points total.
New Orleans finished with a 56-42 advantage on points inside. The Hornets also outrebounded Milwaukee 45-30 and had 16 offensive rebounds. New Orleans outshot Milwaukee from the field 52.4 percent to 43.8 percent.
“The zone didn’t work, our offense didn’t help,” Bucks coach George Karl said. “Our big guys got abused. We had no answer rebounding-wise or defending. There wasn’t one big guy on our team that fought their big guys as we should.”
It was the second straight victory for New Orleans, keeping the Hornets ahead of Boston for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks will have a chance to redeem themselves Saturday night as the teams meet again in Milwaukee.
“Tonight, we played below average basketball and we have to get better in 24 hours,” Redd said. “It was just a lack of defense. I think it wasfocus.”
Milwaukee’s Anthony Mason sat out with a strained left hip and was listed as day-to-day. … New Orleans has had equal or more rebounds than its opponents in 22 of its last 23 games. … New Orleans is 18-0 when scoring 100 or more at home. … Milwaukee is 6-9 since acquiring Payton and Mason from Seattle for Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie and Ronald Murray. … The Hornets havereached double figures in offensive rebounds in their last 26 games.