MILWAUKEE — Brandon Jennings scored 19 points, Monta Ellis had 17 points and 11 assists and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Sacramento Kings, 98-85, on Wednesday.
Tyreke Evans had 17 points in his return to Sacramento’s lineup after missing three straight games — and five of six — with a sore left knee. John Salmons added 16 points.
But Ersan Ilyasova had 16 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored a season-high 17 points in his first start of the season for Milwaukee (11-9), which has its best 20-game start since 2005-06.
The Kings were without center DeMarcus Cousins, suspended one game by the NBA earlier in the day for striking Dallas’ O.J. Mayo in the groin area in their road loss Monday night.
The Bucks never trailed and used a 12-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to take a 79-64 lead and put the game away.
Both teams were short-handed. Besides Cousins, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings were without key reserve forward Marcus Thornton (personal reasons). The Bucks were missing their two starting forwards, Larry Sanders (illness) and Epke Udoh (left wrist sprain), and key reserves Mike Dunleavy (bruised left knee) and Beno Udrih (right ankle sprain).
The offenses struggled as the Bucks shot 41 percent (39-for-96) from the field to Sacramento’s 37 percent (32-for-86), and the Kings were just 3-of-19 (16 percent) from 3-point range.
The missed shots led to a lot of rebounds and Jason Thompson had a season-high 15 for Sacramento.
The Bucks jumped to an early 20-10 lead and led 29-19 after the first quarter, as Ellis sank a half-court shot to beat the buzzer. Sacramento used a 10-0 run to tie it at 32.