Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 11/18/12
MILWAUKEE -- Mike Dunleavy called it an old Western Conference shootout. Scott Skiles said his team's defense was "embarrassingly bad." But in the end, it was a defensive play that proved pivotal. With the Bucks up 114-110 with 18 seconds left, Bucks forward Larry Sanderswent up with Hornets forward Ryan Anderson and stuffed him, an incredibly tough play to make without fouling. Also an important play, because stops were at a premium. "We needed it," Skiles said. "In a game where our defense was so awful beyond anything reasonable we needed somebody to step up and make a defensive play for us and Larry did." It wasn't a good night for Milwaukee's defense. The Hornets guards were able to get into the paint at will and they got easy baskets off the pick and roll. New Orleans was still shooting over 60 percent deep into the third quarter. "We just missed on assignments and it turned into a high scoring game, which we didn't want," Dunleavy said. "Fortunately we were able to come out on top." The Bucks came out on top because of their offense, mainly the play of guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Both finished with 22 points and nine assists. Offensive rebounds and three's also helped. Milwaukee grabbed 16 offensive boards and hit 13 shots from beyond the arc. There was a stretch where the game looked more like a track meet than a basketball game. Ellis even admitted that "his antennas" went up, meaning he knew he had to step up and score to keep pace with New Orleans. All five Bucks starters finished in double figures and Dunleavy scored 17 off the bench, including 16 in the second quarter alone. "We played well offensively," Skiles said. "We moved the ball like we always do, we scored, that was not an issue. They played last night and right away had more energy than we did. We found our offensive energy, but (Hornets guard Greivis) Vasquez was in the paint all night, we just were not sharp at all." A lot of that energy came from Hornets rookie forward Anthony Davis. He scored 28 points to go along with 11 rebounds, making 10 of 14 field goals and eight of nine free throws. Skiles said afterwards that this was just a "glimpse" of what the top pick in last year's draft can do. "I think that he played hard tonight," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "He dove on the floor and finished around the basket. He's capable of having nights like that when he goes for a double double. He makes plays, sometimes it doesn't look pretty, but he finds a way to put the ball in the basket." Skiles felt that it was one of those games where whoever had the lead in the final two minutes was going to win because nobody could stop the other team. That's why Sanders' block was huge. Old Larry Sanders probably wouldn't have even been on the floor for that play. He was called for a couple of fouls, including one where he caught Jason Smith with an elbow while rebounding the ball. There was a time where he started to lose control, but his entire team came to his side to calm him. To his credit, he did. And despite everything going on and struggles in other parts of his game, Sanders calmed himself and made a big play. "(I) struggled a little bit this game, my teammates kept me up," Sanders said. "They did a good job keeping my head even though I was struggling a little bit and I was able to pay them back in the end." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rickie Fowler taunted over by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Rick Pitino says school should be penalized, 'but not this team'

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defends hack-a-player strategy


Jameis Winston awarded Pepsi NFL rookie of the Year

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

$40,000 in Super Bowl tickets stolen from San Francisco hotel

Rams fan makes Super Bowl commercial ripping Stan Kroenke

Panthers LB wants 'clown' Rodney Harrison off the air

Jason Reid: Tom Brady will play at least three more years

Kirk Cousins says he has ‘very good relationship’ with RG3

Super Bowl 50 ticket prices are insane

Take a moment to appreciate the greatness of Cam Newton

4-Star 2018 quarterback Matt Corral commits to USC

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker