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Bucks snap losing streak

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Associated Press
December 10, 2009
— Rookie Brandon Jennings said he needed to be aggressive from the start. It almost cost him in the end.

Jennings scored 22 points before hyperextending his left knee near the close of the third quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks shot 52.5 percent to beat the Toronto Raptors 117-95 on Wednesday night.


“I went to the rack, came down funny and just hyperextended it,” said Jennings, who said he was scared as soon as it happened. “I don’t like knee injuries anyway, I’ve never had any, but from seeing other people with knee injures, you can be out a long time.”


Jennings said he should be ready to play against Portland on Saturday night.


Milwaukee, losers of eight of 10, snapped a four-game skid by controlling this game from the start and ended Toronto’s three-game winning streak.


“We were just trying to stop the losing streak, that’s the main thing,” Jennings said. “For me, I think I just have to start attacking more. I come off a little passive at first.”


The 20-year-old Jennings came in shooting 32.5 percent in his previous nine games, but against the woeful Raptors, he was 8 of 14 from the field and his 14 first-quarter points gave Milwaukee a comfortable cushion.


Ersan Ilyasova and Roko Ukic had 17 points each, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 16, Luke Ridnour 15, Carlos Delfino 14 and Andrew Bogut 12 for the Bucks, who had seven players with at least 12 points.


“Any time you have five or six guys in double figures, you’re going to have a pretty good game,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.


Chris Bosh had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto to extend his strong string of performances, but he had little help because Andrea Bargnani (sore right ankle) and Jose Calderon (hip) were out and Hedo Turkoglu was ineffective.


The Raptors are allowing 108.7 points per game and had another miserable defensive effort. They fell to 0-7 when allowing opponents to shoot 50 percent or better.


“Other guys got a chance to step up today and I don’t think anybody really did,” Raptors coach Jay Triano said. “It came down to not being able to get stops. We had matchup problems all night long.”


Bosh tried to rally the Raptors, both from the bench and while he was in the game. It didn’t get him very far, but he maintained he isn’t frustrated by the poor team performances.


“Everybody listens. We were behind a little bit and it was all about trying to get back in the game,” Bosh said. “I was just telling everybody to keep your head up. It’s a long game. We can’t get hung up over one run or two quarters, anything like that. We just keep playing hard. We got back in it a little bit.


“We gave ourselves a chance, but we didn’t stick to our principles,” Bosh said.


Milwaukee led by double digits almost throughout and the Bucks were cruising until Jennings crumpled to the floor in a collision driving to the basket. He sat out for half the fourth quarter before playing 4 more minutes. He then returned to the bench for more treatment and had the knee wrapped in ice after the game.


The Bucks finished a stretch of 15 games in 26 days without consecutive days off, and Skiles had already planned to give his team Thursday off before the win. It couldn’t come quick enough with Bogut (left leg), Ridnour (left elbow), Michael Redd (left knee) and now Jennings ailing.


“For me, it’s going to feel great,” Bogut said. “It’s been a struggle the last couple of days. My body’s been getting better, but it’s just tired and sore.”



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