Notebook: Bucks 131, Bobcats 102

Posted Apr 2, 2013 12:42 AM

By Rick Braun, for

THE FACTS: Larry Sanders set a career high in scoring for the second time in three games with 24 points, and Monta Ellis set a career high with 14 assists, as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 131-102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night.

Sanders made 11 of his 19 shots and added 13 rebounds as the Bucks (36-37) dropped their magic number for clinching a playoff spot to three games. Ellis added 19 points and six steals to his big night. Ersan Ilyasova had 22 points, J.J. Redick tallied 20 and Brandon Jennings finished with 19 points as the Bucks had their biggest offensive performance in more than four years.

Kemba Walker led the Bobcats (17-57) with 27 points and six assists.

QUOTABLE: "I'm just gaining more confidence in my length and the things I practice on every day. I'm going out there and trying to capitalize on whatever defense is out there."

-- Larry Sanders on his sudden burst of offense over the last week

TURNING POINT: The Bobcats were still within striking distance at 93-84 late in the third quarter. But a 7-0 burst, fueled by a 3-pointer and two free throws from Ellis, closed the period and gave the Bucks a 100-84 lead.

QUOTABLE II: "When he sets screens for you, I think you have to reward the big man, and when he runs the floor, you have to always keep your big man engaged. I try to reward him for all the things he does for us."

-- Monta Ellis, who assisted on five of Sanders' baskets

HOT: Sanders set a career high with 21 points last Thursday in a victory over the Lakers and had that eclipsed by the end of the third quarter tonight.

NOT: On a night with little defense as both teams shot over 50 percent, Charlotte's Janerro Pargo (3-for-10) and Josh McRoberts (2-for-8) qualified as cold.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Ellis filled out his line nicely with 19 points, 14 assists, six steals and four rebounds. He even had a blocked shot.

GOOD MOVE: A 6-0 burst during which the Bucks missed two shots and turned the ball over once pulled the Bobcats within 76-69 with 8:24. Bucks coach Jim Boylan spent a timeout at that point, and the Bucks closed the quarter with a 24-15 edge to turn the game into a rout.

ROOKIE WATCH: Forward Jeff Taylor started in place of absent Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and had seven points and five rebounds. ... Bucks forward John Henson made a seven-minute appearance and had three rebounds and two points.

NOTABLE: Kidd-Gilchrist missed the game to attend a family funeral. ... Luc Richard Mbah a Moute missed the game for Milwaukee with illness. ... The 131 points were the most for the Bucks since a 133-99 victory over Dallas on Jan. 21, 2009. ... With Boston's loss at Minnesota, the Bucks are just one game in the loss column from catching the Celtics for the seventh spot. The Bucks own the tiebreaker.

UP NEXT: For the Bobcats, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, Friday vs. Miami, Saturday @ Brooklyn. For the Bucks, Wednesday vs. Minnesota, Friday @ New York, Saturday vs. Toronto.