SACRAMENTO (AP) — Monta Ellis had 29 points and nine assists for the Milwaukee Bucks, who held off the Sacramento Kings for a 115-113 win on Sunday night.
The Bucks survived a late comeback by the Kings to earn their second straight victory and sixth in seven games. Before the current hot streak, Milwaukee had dropped nine of 11 games.
Mike Dunleavy made four 3-pointers and scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Brandon Jennings also scored 16 points and had eight assists. Gustavo Ayon had 12 points, and both Ekpe Udoh and Samuel Dalembert had 10 for the Bucks.
Ellis had 10 fourth-quarter points for the Bucks, who were outscored 33-30 in the period.
DeMarcus Cousins, who was ejected in the third quarter, had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings. Tyreke Evans had 20 points and Jason Thompson had 18 points and eight rebounds. Isaiah Thomas had 14 points and nine assists.
Protecting a one-point lead, Jennings was fouled on purpose and converted both free throws for a 113-110 lead. After Evans scored again, Ellis hit a pair of free throws for a three-point lead.
Jimmer Fredette made the first free throw with 4.7 seconds remaining and intentionally missed the second. He got the rebound and Evans missed an off-balance 3 with a second left.
Trailing by 10 points, Fredette made a pair of jumpers and later converted on a three-point play to pull the Kings within 111-106.
Evans made a put-back and a twisting shot from close range to cut the Milwaukee lead to one point with 23 seconds left.
The Bucks, who played Saturday night at Golden State, were short-handed against the Kings. They played without starting center Larry Sanders, who was injured in the Golden State game. Milwaukee was also without two key reserves, forward Ersan Ilyasova guard JJ Redick.
The temperamental Cousins and Dunleavy were called for technical fouls after some contact at the Milwaukee end of the court. Following a timeout, Cousins was under the Kings’ basket and swung an elbow that hit Dunleavy’s head. Cousins was called for a flagrant 2 foul and ejected at the 3:26 mark.
It was the fourth ejection this year for Cousins, who now has 12 technical fouls.
Minus two key post players, the Bucks had no answer defensively against Cousins, who made 10 of 12 shots and all four free throws in 29 minutes.
Dunleavy made a pair of 3s early in the fourth period, and another one by Jennings put Milwaukee ahead 98-87 at the midway point in the quarter.
Despite the loss of Cousins, the Kings were able to outscore the Bucks 30-24 in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 85-80. Thompson had 10 points and Thomas had nine. Following Cousins’ ejection, Sacramento closed the quarter with a 13-8 burst.
Ellis had 13 points and six assists and Ayon contributed 12 points and seven rebounds for Milwaukee, which took a 61-50 halftime lead. The Bucks pulled away in the first four minutes of the second quarter when they produced a 16-1 run sparked by Ayon’s eight points.
Cousins scored 20 points and Evans had 12 in the opening half for the Kings.
Notes: Evans made his first 3-point attempt in the opening quarter. A poor 3-point shooter throughout his three-year career, Evans entered the game making 10 of his last 22 3s. . The Milwaukee bench outscored the Kings; reserves 25-9 in the first half. . Cousins made 6 of 7 shots and scored 14 first-quarter points and Evans added nine, helping the Kings to a 29-26 lead. . Thompson had eight rebounds and passed Peja Stojakovic for seventh place for most rebounds in the Sacramento era.