Lopez shot 8 of 10 from the field and made all five free throws he attempted. He also scored 11 straight points during a pivotal 13-0 run in the third quarter that gave New Orleans the lead for good.
Jason Smith added 12 points and Greivis Vasquez had 11 for the Hornets, who shot 52.4 percent (43 of 82) from the field.
Brandon Jennings hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points. Monta Ellis added 17 for Milwaukee, which shot 38.2 percent (29 of 76).
Milwaukee's Larry Sanders blocked seven shots and the Bucks outrebounded the Hornets 40-37. But that was not nearly enough to keep pace with a New Orleans squad that broke loose for one of its best performances of the season, despite being without top overall draft pick Anthony Davis (left ankle), who missed his eighth straight game.
The Bucks even had 19 offensive rebounds, but because of poor shooting, they finished with fewer second-chance points (20) than the Hornets (23). New Orleans also outscored Milwaukee in the paint, 48-34.
Milwaukee had 60-58 lead when Lopez began to take over by hitting a jumper at the shot-clock buzzer that was later disallowed, but which nonetheless seemed to get him in rhythm.
Soon after, Al-Farouq Aminu converted a fast-break dunk that did count, igniting a 13-0 in which Lopez scored the final 11 points on three inside baskets. He had a three-point play along with a jumper and a pair of free throws.
That spurt gave New Orleans a 71-60 lead, and Anderson added a couple of jumpers and a layup late in the period to help the Hornets maintain a 77-67 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
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The lead then grew as large as 22 points in the final quarter as even New Orleans' reserves shot well. Lance Thomas and Brian Roberts each finished with 10 points.
New Orleans led by as many as 10 points in the first half after back-to-back 3s by Anderson and Aminu made it 43-33, but Jennings, who had 15 in the first half, helped the Bucks trim New Orleans' lead. Ellis then pulled Milwaukee to 53-50 at halftime with a 27-foot bank shot that he attempted at the horn after his attempted pass to the right sideline deflected back to him off of Smith's leg.
NOTES: Milwaukee F Mike Dunleavy returned to the lineup in a reserve role after missing one game with left knee soreness. He had six points in 20 minutes. ... Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles opted for a starting frontcourt of C Ekpe Udoh, F John Henson and swingman Marquis Daniels. They combined for 11 points and 11 rebounds. ... In his second game back from offseason right knee surgery, Luc Mbah Moute had seven points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes. ... The Hornets entered the game shooting 44 percent for the season. ... New Orleans was 5 of 12 on 3-pointers. ... Vasquez narrowly missed a double-double with nine assists.
Press; By BRETT MARTEL]
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