Lopez helps Hornets sting Bucks
New Orleans - Reuters / The Associated Press
New Orleans Hornets center Brook Lopez scored 11 of his 21 points during a red-hot streak in the third quarter of his team’s victory over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks in an NBA game. AP photoNew Orleans’ Robin Lopez ran off 11 straight points in the third quarter to spark the Hornets to a much needed 102-81 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 3.
Lopez scored 21 points and his hot streak helped turn a two-point deficit into a 71-60 advantage as the Hornets cruised to the win.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Lopez told reporters. “[My teammates], they all found me at the rim. That’s the way we’re supposed to play.”
It was just the second win in 11 games for New Orleans (5-11), who are rebuilding with a young roster and were without top overall draft pick Anthony Davis for the eighth straight game due to ankle problems.
Lopez spent his first four seasons in Phoenix before being traded to New Orleans in the off-season. He is off to a solid start and on Dec. 3 made eight of 10 shots from the field and all five of his free throws.
Ryan Anderson paced the scoring for New Orleans with 22 points, one of six Hornets to finish in double figures.
New Orleans grabbed a 10-point lead in the second quarter before the Bucks battled back to take a brief edge in the third.
Milwaukee was coming off a quality win against Boston on Dec. 1 but could not find a similar effort to get the team over the line as it was outscored 49-31 in the second half and shot just 38 percent for the game.
The Bucks were led by Brandon Jennings’ 25 points but they have now lost six of their last eight games to fall out of first place in the Central standings.
“It seemed like we dribbled into crowds tonight and had trouble getting out of crowds,” said Bucks coach Scott Skiles. “When we start dribbling too much, we get in trouble.”
Reserve Larry Sanders, who scored a career-high against the Celtics and notched a triple-double one game earlier, had seven blocks against the Hornets to go with eight points and seven rebounds. It was an off night for Turkish international forward Ersan İlyasova, who just had two points and three rebounds in 18 minutes on the court.
Meanwhile, Blake Griffin scored 30 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated Utah 105-104 on the night of Dec. 3 to hand the Jazz their first loss at home this season.
Crawford made a pair of free throws late and ex-Clipper Randy Foye countered with a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining. But Foye’s desperation 3 after stealing the ensuing inbounds pass missed its mark.
Mo Williams led the Jazz (9-10) against his former team with 20 points and 12 assists. Foye added 19 points and Al Jefferson had 16 points and 10 rebounds but had a layup blocked by DeAndre Jordan with 26 seconds left that would have tied the score at 101.
It was the third straight victory for the Clippers (11-6).
Chris Paul added 14 points for Los Angeles, with six in the fourth after the Clippers entered the quarter trailing by 10.
Turkish center Enes Kanter had eight points and four rebounds for the Jazz.