Janesville39°

Jennings’ dunk gets Bucks going

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Associated Press
November 19, 2009
— Brandon Jennings knew it was a gamble. So far, all the odds have been in the rookie’s favor.

Jennings made a swipe and slam past two stunned Nets during a 15-0 run to start the second half, Andrew Bogut and Carlos Delfino each scored 21 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat winless New Jersey, 99-85, on Wednesday night.


“He saw the whole thing develop,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “That was a big momentum break for us. It was a big steal and you got to see the little fella down there dunk the ball.”


Jennings, who jammed a finger and got kneed twice that left him limping in the fourth quarter, said he took a beating against the Nets. But his nifty steal between Chris Douglas-Roberts and Rafer Alston was the more demoralizing blow.


“I wasn’t really going to dunk it at first, that’s probably all you’re going to get out of me this year,” said Jennings, who had 19 points and eight assists, but also had eight turnovers.


Douglas-Roberts scored a career-high 31 points and had 10 rebounds, but the short-handed Nets have lost 12 straight for their longest single-season losing streak in more than 19 years.


“We lost. That’s the only thing that means anything to me. Wins and losses. We lost,” Douglas-Roberts said.


New Jersey shot 9 of 38 in the second half after leading 48-41 at halftime.


“We knew they would give us a good run for our money and we didn’t play too well in the first half,” said Bogut, who added 11 rebounds. “But we steadied the ship in the third quarter, our defense was key in the second half and we got the win.”


The Nets’ poor shooting made it easy for Bogut, Delfino and Jennings, in his second game since a 55-point night on Saturday.


Milwaukee started the second half with 15 straight points, including eight in the spurt by Jennings, and led by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter. The Bucks improved to 4-1 on a six-game homestand that ends Friday.


“Our guys have done a good job with a favorable schedule. We’ve got one more home game, we’d like to get that, but now the pace really picks up,” Skiles said.


The Bucks’ only real scare came early in the fourth quarter when Jennings, the 10th pick in this year’s draft, ran into a hard screen and fell awkwardly, but he returned after the timeout.


From there, Jennings, who has double figures in eight of his first nine games, continued his masterful play, whipping a pass to Delfino in the corner for a 3-pointer to make it 83-66 as Milwaukee cruised.


The Nets led by as many as 11 in the first half after Terrence Williams looked like the stud rookie to watch. He scored 16 second-quarter points, hitting seven shots in a row, and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.


But Jennings, picked one slot ahead of Williams, came storming back in the third quarter, pestering the Nets with his speed that led to his big steal and dunk. He knocked down a 3-pointer moments later that gave Milwaukee a 56-48 lead.


It’s been more misery for the Nets, who last lost at least 12 in a row in a season when they dropped 14 straight in 1990, according to STATS LLC research.


New Jersey’s next chance for a win comes at home against the Knicks on Saturday before heading out on a four-game West Coast trip. The NBA record is 17 straight losses to start a season shared by Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers.


“I don’t even focus on 0-17,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. “Obviously, it’s very disappointing to be where we’re at. Right need what we need to do is have a day of practice and get ready for the game against New York.”



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