Bucks-Hornets Preview

The Associated Press

With Larry Sanders content to provide a spark off the bench, the Milwaukee Bucks got back into the win column.

Sanders will try to help the Bucks again as they seek back-to-back victories for the first time in two-plus weeks and attempt to end a lengthy road losing streak to the struggling New Orleans Hornets on Monday night.

After dropping five of six, Milwaukee (8-7) fell behind 17-0 early to Boston on Saturday before pulling out a 91-88 victory. Sanders provided a career-high 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks after turning down the opportunity for his first NBA start since March 16, 2011.

"I embrace that role, coming off the bench and trying to provide energy, whether we are down or whether we are up. That's where I plan on staying,'' Sanders said.

That performance came one day after he recorded first career triple-double and matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's franchise record with 10 blocks.

"Larry Sanders is on his way to being player of the week if he keeps this up. I'm really excited for him,'' guard Brandon Jennings said.

To cap their most recent win streak, the Bucks defeated their next opponent 117-113 on Nov. 17. Monta Ellis scored six of his 22 points in the final two minutes of that third consecutive victory and Jennings also had 22 as Milwaukee snapped a three-game skid to the Hornets (4-11).

The Bucks will now try to end a 10-game losing streak in New Orleans, where they did not play last season due to the lockout.

Like the Bucks, the Hornets have struggled since a solid start, losing four in a row at home and nine of 10 overall. With its 100-79 defeat to Oklahoma City on Saturday, New Orleans allowed an opponent to reach the century mark for the eighth time in the past nine games.

"A lot of this falls on my shoulders," coach Monty Williams said. "You have to get guys ready to play. You have to help them believe. You have to be the performance enhancer, and that's my job.

"You can't always blame the players. Some of our guys are trying their best. I have to put them in position to succeed."

The Hornets have allowed an average of 105.1 points over that stretch, and the absence of No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis hasn't helped. The forward, who was averaging 16.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks, has missed the past seven games because of an injured left ankle and his timetable for returning is unknown.

"I air on the side of caution, especially when the guy really wants to play," Williams said before Saturday's game. "I have to be his brains."

Davis had a season-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in his most recent game, the loss to the Bucks, while Sanders totaled four points, six rebounds and three blocks for Milwaukee.

The Bucks earned their most recent road win over the Hornets on Jan. 27, 2003.

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