Larry Sanders, not Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis, has been taking over the spotlight the past few games for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sanders looks to keep his hot hand going when the Bucks invade the Big Easy Monday night to take on the New Orleans Hornets. In his third season with the Bucks, the rarely used Sanders is making a case to see more minutes and recorded the first triple-double of his career in Friday's loss at Minnesota, ending with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.
Sanders tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's single-game franchise record for blocks in a game, originally set on Nov. 3, 1973 against Detroit.
The following night Sanders posted career highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds in a 91-88 home victory versus the Boston Celtics. Sanders, a reserve, also swatted five shots and has four double-doubles on the season.
Ellis and Ersan Ilyasova finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively, as the Bucks rallied from a 17-0 hole to start the game and outscored Boston 36-21 in the second quarter. Jennings gave Milwaukee a 90-88 lead with three seconds to go on a 3-pointer and ended with 13 points.
"Obviously we didn't start the game very well," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said after the team's second win in seven tries. "But we fought our way back, gained a little momentum going into halftime and after that start, overall we played a pretty good game."
Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute made his season debut and scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in 14 minutes. He was recovering from a knee injury suffered last April.
In injury news for Milwaukee, forward Mike Dunleavy (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday. He is averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds.
New Orleans has lost nine of 10 games and will resume a five-game homestand versus the Bucks.
The Hornets have dropped the first two tests on the residency, including Saturday's 100-79 setback to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ryan Anderson had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Robin Lopez netted 12 points for the Hornets, who fell to 2-6 at home and made only 37 percent from the field.
"They were taking it to the basket, they were the aggressor out there," Hornets forward Jason Smith said. "We knew the first game (earlier this season) they were hitting the outside shot. We ran out hard, a lot of times too hard, and they just had a lot of drives on us."
Roger Mason Jr. ended with 11 points in the loss.
New Orleans will also host the Lakers and Grizzlies on the homestand. It is averaging 92.8 ppg -- 26th in the NBA. It is still without forward and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis (ankle) and guard Eric Gordon (knee). Both are out indefinitely.
Anderson leads the Hornets with 17.2 ppg and Davis second with 16.0.
Milwaukee recently defeated the Hornets 117-113 on Nov. 17 at the Bradley Center, where Ellis and Jennings each had 22 points and nine assists. Davis posted 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who have still prevailed in 11 of the last 13 matchups between the teams.
The Bucks have lost 10 in a row and 14 of 17 trips to New Orleans.