Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 4/2/13
MILWAUKEE It took Larry Sanders until his 174th NBA game to score 20 points in a game. Four days was all it took for him to do it a second time. After scoring a career-high 21 points against the Los Angeles Lakers last Thursday, Sanders set a new career high Monday, scoring 24 points to go along with 13 rebounds in Milwaukee's 131-102 rout of Charlotte. The 131 points were a season-high for the Bucks and the most they've scored since a 133-99 victory over Dallas on Jan. 21, 2009. Milwaukee's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to three, and with Boston's 110-101 loss to Minnesota Monday night, the Bucks moved to within 1-12 games of the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The leaps and bounds Sanders has grown defensively have been well documented, but his offensive aggressiveness has jumped in the last three weeks. Monday night he set a career-high in field goals made with 11 and tied a career-high with 19 field goal attempts. "I'm just gaining more confidence in my length and the things I practice every day," Sanders said. "I'm going out there and trying to capitalize on what whatever the defense is doing out there. "I'm just trying to stay active. My teammates are doing a great job of finding me down there, trusting me to finish plays and shoot the ball when I'm open. It's working out pretty well." Five of Sanders' field goals came off passes from Bucks guard Monta Ellis, who set a career-high with 14 assists Monday night. "When he sets screens for you, I think you've always got to reward the big man," Ellis said. "And when he runs the floor, always keep your big man engaged. "I try to reward him for all the the things he does for us." Bucks coach Jim Boylan has been trying to get Sanders to implement a jump hook to make his offensive game more versatile. He hit a hook shot in the first half against the Bobcats. "Larry is finding his game offensively," Boylan said. "He's starting to make that little jump shot. I'm always trying to get him to dive to the rim because I think that's where he'll be most productive but he's been able to step out and make that little jumper." While the results of his efforts have begun to show, Sanders knows it's going to take a summer of work to become consistent on the offensive end of the floor. "That's the name of the game, that's basketball," Sanders said. "The harder you work, the more repetition you put in, the better you get. It's a simple formula and it's been like that since I started playing basketball. I'm not going to stop." Sanders has spent most of the season atop the league in blocked shots, and while Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka recently passed him in blocks per game, Milwaukee's center is one of the top candidates for the NBA's Most Improved Player. Though nobody in the league has improved as much as he has from last season, Sanders insists he hasn't even thought about winning the award. "I hear it every now and then," Sanders said. "I'm not really into awards. I think they are good individual gifts but my mind is on the team. I want us to be in the playoffs. I want us to make a good run. I want us to have a successful season and I think everything else will fall into place." As the Bucks close in on a playoff berth and try to chase down the Celtics, Sanders is trying to find consistent energy though each night adds to his career-high in minutes played in a season. "I'm a little tired," Sanders said. "I haven't played this many minutes in my life. This time of year everybody is tired. Whoever has the most energy is who is going to capitalize." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker