Hornets break out of slump, rout Bucks 102-81

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm •  Published: December 3, 2012
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"When we defend like that, it gives us a chance to shoot easy buckets and that is how you get close to 50 percent (shooting)," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "You can play against anybody if you play hard and defend. We were fortunate enough to get that tonight."

Milwaukee had a 60-58 lead when Lopez began to take over. He hit a jumper at the shot-clock buzzer that was later disallowed, but it nonetheless seemed to get him in rhythm.

Soon after, Al-Farouq Aminu converted a fast-break dunk that did count, igniting a 13-0 in which Lopez scored the final 11 points on three inside baskets. He had a three-point play along with a jumper and a pair of free throws.

"That was huge. That little run made that game for us. It was a make-or-break situation," Anderson said of Lopez. "To have him kind of really step up and make some huge plays really sparked the energy and the effort for the rest of the game."

That spurt gave New Orleans a 71-60 lead, and Anderson added a couple of jumpers and a layup late in the period to help the Hornets maintain a 77-67 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The lead grew as large as 22 points in the final quarter as even New Orleans' reserves shot well. Lance Thomas and Brian Roberts each finished with 10 points.

New Orleans led by as many as 10 points in the first half after back-to-back 3s by Anderson and Aminu made it 43-33, but Jennings, who had 15 in the first half, helped the Bucks trim New Orleans' lead. Ellis then pulled Milwaukee to 53-50 at halftime with a 27-foot bank shot that he attempted at the horn after his attempted pass to the right sideline deflected back to him off of Smith's leg.

NOTES: Milwaukee F Mike Dunleavy returned to the lineup in a reserve role after missing one game with left knee soreness. He had six points in 20 minutes. ... Skiles opted for a starting frontcourt of C Ekpe Udoh, F John Henson and swingman Marquis Daniels. They combined for 11 points and 11 rebounds. ... In his second game back from offseason right knee surgery, Luc Mbah Moute had seven points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes. ... The Hornets entered the game shooting 44 percent for the season. ... New Orleans was 5 of 12 on 3-pointers. ... Vasquez narrowly missed a double-double with nine assists. ... The Hornets made all 11 of their free throws.

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