THE FACTS: Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings each scored 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Milwaukee Bucks escaped with a 117-113 victory over the New Orleans Hornets Saturday night in Milwaukee. Larry Sanders recorded all three of his blocked shots for the Bucks in the fourth quarter, including a stop of a Ryan Anderson drive with 18.9 seconds left to help seal it.
Ellis came up with two huge baskets for the Bucks (6-2) in the final 1:51 after consecutive 3-point plays by super-rookie Anthony Davis had pulled the Hornets (3-5) within 110-108.
Davis posted 28 points and 11 rebounds, setting a new career high in points and matching his top performance in rebounds.
QUOTABLE: "We felt like as much as they were penetrating and getting to the hole, we spent a large portion of the game with no blocks. We knew at some point we were going to have to step up and make some sort of defensive play to win the game, and obviously that was a big one."
-- Bucks coach Scott Skiles on Sanders' block of Anderson with 18.9 seconds left.
THE STAT: Sanders struggled through the first three quarters, but when he recorded all three of his blocked shots in the fourth quarter, the Hornets were able to go just 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) in the final 12 minutes after shooting 60.4 percent (32-for-53) in the first three quarters.
TURNING POINT: The game was still in doubt as the Hornets went on offense, trailing 114-110, in the final half-minute. Anderson pump-faked at the 3-point line on the right wing and bolted for what looked like a clear path to the basket. Sanders came over from the weak side and snuffed out Anderson's attempt well above the rim, and the Bucks were able to hang on from there.
QUOTABLE II: "It was almost like an old Western Conference game -- high-scoring. It was 91-91 at the end of the third, and there just wasn't a whole lot of defense being played."
-- Bucks sixth-man Mike Dunleavy, who made four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.
HOT: Davis finished 10-for-14 from the floor after entering the game shooting just 43.9 percent. He improved to 49.3 percent (35-for-71) for the season.
NOT: New Orleans point guard Greivis Vasquez went just 5-for-16 in getting his 13 points, but did contribute 11 assists.
QUOTABLE III: "I was just trying to be there for my teammates. I was trying to be on the help side. On the weak side, we weren't in the game that much and we gave up second-chance points off rebounds, so I wanted to make sure I was there for the rebound or to help my teammate if he drove to the rim."
-- Sanders on his big block.
GOOD MOVE: Skiles played Sanders all 12 minutes, and Ekpe Udoh all but 30 seconds of the fourth quarter. With those two contesting shots, the Hornets finally cooled off.
ROOKIE WATCH: Davis is sure to own the spotlight most nights, but teammate Austin Rivers managed six points -- all in six free throw attempts -- in 22:20 of playing time.
NOTABLE: Jennings recorded a four-point play on a 3-pointer and a foul on Vasquez with 6:20 in the first quarter. Vasquez returned the favor, making a 3-pointer and a free throw on a foul on Jennings with 3:29 left in the third. ... The Bucks' 6-2 record is their best eight-game start since the 2001-02 team started out 7-1. ... Jennings also had four steals, giving him multiple steals in seven of the Bucks' eight games. ... The biggest lead of the night was a 10-point edge for the Bucks. New Orleans' biggest lead was eight. ... The Bucks made 13 3-pointers, their first time in double digits this season. They were 11-1 last season when making 10 or more 3-pointers.
UP NEXT: For the Hornets: Tuesday vs. New York, Wednesday @ Indiana, Friday @ Phoenix. For the Bucks: Monday @ Charlotte, Wednesday @ Miami, Saturday vs. Chicago.