"Yeah I got hit on the arm, I didn’t receive the call," he said. "It shouldn’t have gotten to that point."
Certainly not with Davis on the bench for long stretches.
But the thin Bucks also missed not having shot-blockers Larry Sanders (eye) and John Henson (ankle) with the Pelicans attacking the basket late.
A layup by Tyreke Evans and soft floater in the lane by Roberts sandwiched around a missed dunk by Ilyasova gave New Orleans a 100-95 lead with 1:06 left before Ilyasova redeemed himself with a 3.
The surge by the Pelicans answered an open 3 from the corner by Nate Wolters that had drawn Milwaukee within one with about 2 minutes left.
But after getting to the hoop for much of the first half with Davis on the bench, the Bucks had trouble getting good looks in the lane after halftime.
Khris Middleton, who finished with 11 points, had two turnovers and a foul in the final 9 seconds.
"With Davis on the bench, we should have capitalized," coach Larry Drew said.
Ilyasova finished with 16 points and nine boards in his first game back since missing two with back spasms, while Roberts had 17 for the Pelicans.
Ajinca came a point short of his career high and finished 7 of 7 from the field. Averaging just 4.0 points a game coming into the night, Ajinca went 4 of 4 in the Pelicans’ 37-point third quarter that turned a three-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead.
"Al was as good as he’s been all year with his energy and the plays he made down the stretch," Williams said.
With foul trouble plaguing Davis — the NBA’s leader in blocked shots — the Bucks broke through in the middle early and got a boost on the outside from Gary Neal for a 49-46 at halftime. Neal scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half.
NOTES: Williams is 5-1 all-time coaching against the Bucks. … Pelicans reserve C Greg Stiemsma is a native of Randolph, Wis., and played his college ball at Wisconsin from 2004-8. He was whistled for a technical foul in the fourth quarter. … The Bucks were the only team that New Orleans had yet to face this season coming into the contest. … Sanders saw a specialist for his fractured orbital bone, though Drew wasn’t sure when he would return.