MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks played with a sense of urgency and came away with the victory.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 21 points and Marquis Daniels had season highs with 18 points and six rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks took command early and beat the Charlotte Bobcats 108-93 on Friday night.
“We’ve got to stay like that,” Daniels said. “Regardless of what it is, we’ve got to continue having an urgency. We’ve got to play with a slight chip on our shoulder.”
Daniels made his fourth consecutive start at small forward as coach Scott Skiles looked for a way to snap the team out of its early season slump.
“Every night we come in, we’re pretty much looked at as the underdogs. So we got to come in looking to be aggressive, attack teams on both ends offensively and defensively.”
Milwaukee did that against the slumping Bobcats.
Milwaukee led by 13 after the first quarter, 18 at the half and 25 at the end of the third. Leading 98-77 with 6:06 to play, Skiles cleared the bench. The Bobcats closed to within nine, but never got any closer.
“At the beginning of the game, we just came ready,” Ilyasova said. “Everybody was on task. When we play defense like this, the offense comes as well.”
Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said that the team’s effort in the fourth quarter was positive, but the team needed to apply that pressure earlier and more consistently.
“We spotted them 33 points,” he said of the first quarter. “We’re running uphill the rest of the way. We’ve got to do better.”
Ilyasova was 7 of 17 from the floor and 5 of 6 from the free throw line. Daniels made 7 of 11 shots, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc.
“They kept telling me to look to shoot the ball, look to score,” Daniels said. “It opened it up for the other guys. That’s all I was looking to do, was be aggressive.”
Brandon Jennings had 15 points and eight assists and Monta Ellis added 13 points to help the Bucks.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 19 points, Kemba Walker 16 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which has lost six in a row.
“We didn’t come out with a lot of energy tonight,” Henderson said. “I think when you play a team like Milwaukee with really good guards, at home, you have to match that energy.”
Ilyasova set a season high with 12 rebounds and was replaced by Drew Gooden with 8:23 left. For Gooden, it was his first appearance of the season.
Milwaukee came in having lost seven of its past nine. The Bucks averaged 91.9 points per game during this losing stretch after averaging 101.0 points in their first eight games and going 6-2.
Ellis couldn’t duplicate his performance from the previous meeting in Charlotte on Nov. 19, when he scored a game-high 31 points.
The game got a bit chippy late in the second quarter.
Brendan Haywood picked up a flagrant-1 foul when he grabbed Jennings and pulled him away from the Bucks’ basket.
Jennings had stolen the ball from Ramon Sessions and raced down the court only to be caught from behind by Haywood. Jennings walked away from Haywood and stood with his teammates at center court. The referees reviewed the call and left it as a flagrant-1.
After shaking hands with Haywood during the review, Jennings made one free throw to push the lead to 54-38 with 3:03 left in the quarter. Jennings scored 11 of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter.
Daniels, Ellis and Ilyasova scored a combined 25 points to pace the Bucks’ attack as Milwaukee took a 33-20 lead after one. Daniels had 10 points, two off his season high.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held for Rick Majerus, who died Dec. 1. He was an assistant coach at Marquette (1971-83) and then its head coach for the next three seasons. He was a Bucks assistant coach for the 1986-87 season before becoming the head coach at Ball State, Utah and Saint Louis. … Bucks G/F Mike Duleavy missed his second consecutive game and third in the past four with a bruised left knee. After experiencing discomfort during a pregame shootaround, he decided against playing.