Hornets.com postgame: Bucks 117, Hornets 113
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Bucks (6-2), Hornets (3-5)
It was over when… Monta Ellis sank two free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining, giving Milwaukee a two-possession advantage at 117-113. The pair of charity tosses capped a wild final 30 seconds, in which Bucks reserve big man Larry Sanders came up with a clutch blocked shot of a Ryan Anderson dunk attempt that kept the hosts up 114-110. Anderson then drained a stepback three-pointer to cut it to 115-113, but Ellis preserved the high-scoring victory for the Bucks. The Hornets dropped their third straight game; they will practice Monday and host the hot-starting New York Knicks on Tuesday in New Orleans.
Hornets MVP: Anthony Davis was outstanding on dives through the lane, frequently catching passes in the middle of the paint and finishing with layups or short flip shots. The rookie delivered a career-best 28 points, including three separate conventional three-point plays in the second half. This was another glimpse at the staggering potential of the No. 1 pick, who went 10-for-14 from the field and 8-for-9 from the foul line, while also grabbing 11 rebounds. Foul shooting was supposed to be a relative weakness for the Kentucky product, but he is 26-for-31 (83.9 percent) through his six games. That skill will likely be crucial, as opposing teams focus on preventing Davis from getting easy baskets around the rim. “He just makes plays,” coach Monty Williams said. “Sometimes you think he’s falling down and you don’t know where the ball’s going, but it just has a way of going in the basket.” Williams added that Davis has been playing through a sore ankle.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game:Anderson heated up in the second half, pouring in 15 of his 20 points after intermission. The NBA’s most prolific three-point shooter from last season (166 makes in ’11-12) went 4-for-9 on treys Saturday, part of his overall 8-for-15 game. Nearly every sub played well offensively in Milwaukee, with Roger Mason tallying 10 points and Brian Roberts and Jason Smith chipping in eight points each.
The buzz on… a most unusual Hornets game. Saturday’s contest in Wisconsin was uncharacteristic of New Orleans during the Williams era on a number of fronts. With 113 points, the Hornets came within two points of the most they’ve scored in regulation of any game in Williams' two-plus seasons. Due to a defense that commonly forces opponents to use up big chunks of the shot clock – combined with a methodical offense of their own – the Hornets ranked 30th in the NBA in pace last season, slower than every other team in the league. Entering Saturday’s slate of games, New Orleans again was ranked 30th in pace this season. The Hornets rarely get caught up in shootout-type games, much more likely to see a final score of 85-80 than 125-120. Based on their upgrade in talent on paper this offseason, New Orleans seems more capable of winning high-scoring games than a season ago, but it’s definitely not something the team wants to get into a habit of attempting to do. Defense has been the No. 1 objective for Williams since Day 1 of his tenure. Give credit to Milwaukee for its performance, though: The Bucks played exceptional individual and team offense, leading to a number of easy baskets. Williams: “Any time you lose a game like last night (a one-sided home defeat to Oklahoma City), to 24 hours later go on the road and play a playoff team like Milwaukee and have a chance to win, I think this experience is going to help us going forward.”