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Hornets 102, Bucks 81

The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS - Forward Ryan Anderson scored 22 points and center Robin Lopez tied his season high with 21points in just 23 minutes of playing time to power the New Orleans Hornets to a 102-81 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Monday night at the New Orleans Arena.

The Hornets (5-11), who had lost nine of their previous 10 games, handed the Bucks their 11th consecutive loss in New Orleans.

Lopez was the catalyst in a 13-0 Hornets run in the third quarter, scoring eight consecutive points in that spurt as New Orleans took a 71-60 lead with 4:11 left in the period. Lopez took a feed from Greivis Vasquez for his first basket, hit a 17-footer from the right wing, then scrambled on the floor to grab a loose ball and dunk it home.

When the Bucks answered with five straight, Anderson drove around Ersan Ilyasova for a layup, then hit an 18-footer to put New Orleans up 75-64. Leading 81-72, New Orleans scored eight straight - four by Jason Smith - to open an 89-72 lead with 5:58 left.

The Bucks (8-8) were led by Brandon Jennings, who had a game-high 25 points, and Monta Ellis, who added 17. The Hornets held Milwaukee to 38.2 percent shooting on 29-of-76 from the floor.

Anderson had struggled from 3-point range in the last three games, but he was wired in during an 11-point first half Monday, leading the Hornets to a 53-50 halftime lead. He opened the scoring with a 22-footer from the right wing and added another jumper and a follow shot to give the Hornets an early 21-20 lead.

The Bucks continued to pound the ball inside and took advantage by getting into the bonus with 5:45 left in the first quarter. As a result, they attempted 13 free throws in the first quarter and outscored the Hornets 10-1 at the line.

Jennings led all scorers with 15 first-half points, but he needed 15 shots to do it. Ellis, who had 10 at intermission, banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to narrow the Hornets' lead to three points at halftime.

In addition to the free-throw disparity, the Bucks outrebounded the Hornets 25-16 in the first half, but the Hornets did a much better job than usual handling ball, committing only three turnovers after having averaged 15.1 per game in their 4-11 start.

NOTES: In what could be a sign of progress, Hornets' rookie forward Anthony Davis, who has missed the last eight games with a stress reaction in his left ankle, was wearing street shoes instead of a plastic walking boot on the Hornets' bench Monday... Before Monday, the Bucks had lost 10 consecutive games and 14 of 17 in New Orleans... Bucks reserve forward Larry Sanders had 15 blocks in his previous two games.
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