Hornets use strong second half to down BucksJan 22, 2008 - 1:00 AM By Michael Nissman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Lately, the third quarter has haunted the Milwaukee Bucks. The New Orleans Hornets became the latest beneficiary on Monday.
Tyson Chandler had 20 points and 15 rebounds as the Hornets pulled away early in the second half en route to a 106-92 victory over the Bucks.
Milwaukee held a 53-52 lead at halftime over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday but were outscored by 19 points in the third quarter on its way to a 20-point defeat.
"Lately, it's been one bad quarter," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "It's like we get pounded in the forehead with a sledgehammer, and we can't recover. I think in the third quarter, something went haywire."
On Monday, New Orleans outscored Milwaukee by 11 points in the third to turn a 54-50 halftime deficit into 76-69 advantage.
"It's not like were changing anything," Krystkowiak said. "We just need to find a little more consistency."
The Hornets blew the game wide open with a 10-2 run to open the fourth to increase the bulge to 86-71.
"Oh, it was massive," Bucks guard Michael Redd said in regards to the shift of momentum in the second half. "We made turnovers. We just (have) to get to a place where we are mature. They made a push, and it seemed like we folded. We can't afford to do that."
New Orleans expanded the lead to as many as 21 points, the last time on a basket by Chandler with 4:05 remaining, to widen the lead to 101-80.
"We came out with more energy," Hornets forward Rasual Butler said of the second half. "We had better execution on the second half, which helped us go on a nice little run."
After each team pulled its starters, Milwaukee outscored New Orleans, 10-3, over the final 2:14 to make the score more respectable.
Peja Stojakovic added 18 points for the Hornets, who improved to 17-0 when they score more than 100 points in a game this season. All five starters finished in double figures for New Orleans.
The Hornets won their fifth straight game and have recorded 12 consecutive wins against opponents with losing records.
Redd scored 19 points for the Bucks, who lost for the fifth time in six contests.
The win pushed the Hornets ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for first place in the Southwest division, a position Butler doesn't mind being in halfway through the season.
"Anytime you are first in anything, you feel comfortable with it," Butler said. "Your goal is to be the best team; at some point in the season, it's to be the last team standing. But it's a long season, (there are) still 40-something games left."
NEW ORLEANS 106 FINAL
Jan 21 5:48 PM
NEW ORLEANS 76 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 21 5:20 PM
NEW ORLEANS 50 HALFTIME
Jan 21 4:37 PM
NEW ORLEANS 17 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 21 4:07 PM
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