MILWAUKEE (AP) — Larry Sanders' latest career night led to a big scoring night for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sanders had a career-high 24 points and 13 rebounds as Milwaukee cruised to a 131-102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night for the Bucks' highest total in more than four years.
"It's working out pretty well," said Sanders, who had set his previous career scoring high of 21 on Thursday in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. "I am just trying to stay active. My teammates are doing a great job of finding me down there, trusting me to finish plays, and I'm shooting the ball when I'm open."
Monta Ellis had 19 points, a career-high 14 assists and six steals to help Milwaukee pull 1½ games behind seventh-place Boston in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics lost to Minnesota on Monday.
Ersan Ilyasova added 22 points for the Bucks, and J.J. Redick scored 20, 16 in the second half. Brandon Jennings had 19, as Milwaukee, which had lost five of six, remained solidly in the eighth position in the East, with a six-game lead over idle Philadelphia.
Kemba Walker scored 27 points to lead the Bobcats, and Gerald Henderson had 17.
Charlotte came in allowing 47.3 percent shooting and 103.1 points per game — second-worst in the league in both categories — and it showed.
The Bucks never trailed after early in the first quarter, led 69-60 at halftime and 100-84 after the third quarter en route to their largest scoring output since a 133-99 win over Dallas on Jan. 21, 2009.
Charlotte has lost five of six and dropped to 1-15 all-time at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
"We made shots too easy for them," Henderson said. "Obviously, they've got some really quick guards who can get into the lane, and that's what they were doing and either finishing or kicking out for 3s.
"We just couldn't play any defense. You ain't gonna beat nobody giving up 130 points."
Offense came easy for both teams.
Sanders had 16 in the first half, as the Bucks shot 54 percent (28 of 52). Milwaukee outscored Charlotte 40-35 in the second quarter.
Jennings and Ilyasova each had 15 points in the half.
The Bobcats trailed despite shooting 63 percent (22 of 35) in the first two quarters. Gordon, coming off a scoreless game against Philadelphia on Saturday, had all 14 of his points in the second quarter. Walker also had 14 in the period for Charlotte.
It was much the same in the second half, as the Bucks tallied 31 in both the third and fourth quarters and shot 51 percent (51 of 100) for the game with 32 assists. Milwaukee led by 33 in the fourth quarter.
"It was just one of those nights where everything was clicking for us," Ellis said. "Hopefully we can continue that."