MILWAUKEE - Ersan Ilyasova set season highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds, providing an off-the-bench spark in the Milwaukee Bucks' 108-93 runaway victory Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats in Milwaukee.
Ilyasova signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Bucks during the summer but struggled early in the season, eventually losing his spot in the starting lineup. In his last two games, though, Ilyasova is averaging 19 points and 8.5 rebounds while hitting 14 of 29 shots, showing glimpses of the player that earned him a second-place finish for Most Improved Player last season.
Along with Ilyasova, Marquis Daniels had 18 points and six rebounds, while Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Jennings also added eight assists. The Bucks shot 39.1 percent from the field but were good behind the arc, hitting 6 of 14 three-point attempts.
Conversely, the Bobcats were awful from three-point range, connecting on just 3 of 13 attempts. They also struggled at the free-throw line, missing 14 of 32 and were outrebounded, 59-45.
Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 19 points, and Kemba Walker had 16 as the Bobcats lost their sixth consecutive game.
Unlike the teams' last meeting, when the Bobcats rallied from 11 down over the final seven minutes for a 102-98 victory Nov. 20 in Charlotte, the Bucks were in complete control, nearly from the tip.
Milwaukee took a 7-6 lead on Ellis' layup with 7:31 to play in the first quarter and never relinquished the lead, going ahead by as many as 19. Charlotte shot just 37 percent in the first two quarters and trailed, 58-40, at the half.
The lead grew to 26 in the third quarter on an Ilyasova three-pointer that made it 83-57 with 2:11 to play in the period. Charlotte cut into the deficit in the fourth, when Milwaukee head coach Scott Skiles gave the floor to his reserves, including Drew Gooden, who had not appeared in a game this season.
Notes: Since joining the league in 2004, the Bobcats were 1-13 in Milwaukee and trailed in the overall series 9-20 before Friday ... The Bucks were without key reserves Mike Dunleavy Jr. (bruised left knee) and Beno Udrih (sprained right ankle) ... Since starting the season 7-5 - tying their victory total from last season - the Bobcats had lost five straight prior to Friday night ... Since starting the season 6-2, the Bucks have gone 2-7 heading into the game against the Bobcats... Milwaukee's Larry Sanders averaged 5.75 blocks per game over his previous four games ... A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of Rick Majerus, who was an assistant coach with the Bucks in the 1986-87 season.