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News » A real-hot issue Jennings readily takes reins for Bucks


A real-hot issue Jennings readily takes reins for Bucks


A real-hot issue  Jennings readily takes reins for Bucks By CHARLES F. GARDNER

One thing stood out on Brandon Jennings' remarkable 55-point night.

The Milwaukee Bucks' 20-year-old rookie truly wasn't being selfish while taking 34 shots in a wide-open game with the Golden State Warriors.

He was just doing what his coach and teammates wanted him to do in an effort to hold off the red-hot Warriors, who shot 56% but still were on the wrong end of a 129-125 score Saturday night.

The Bucks were missing shooting guard Michael Redd, still out with a knee injury.

And center Andrew Bogut had to sit out late in the game because Golden State was playing 6-foot-6 Corey Maggette at the center position, causing severe matchup problems.

So who were the Bucks going to call? Who else but Jennings, the 10th pick in the draft and already a leading candidate for the league's rookie of the year award.

Jennings hit 21 of 34 shots, including 7 of 8 three-point tries, to become only the third player in franchise history to reach the 50-point mark, joining Redd and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In typical fashion, Jennings wanted to talk about his teammates after the game.

"Charlie Bell hit a big three, and Luc Mbah a Moute had a big steal when I turned the ball over toward the end," Jennings said. "We played kind of bad in the first half, so for us to come back out in the second half and get a big lead, it would have been a shame to lose that game."

Jennings will try to extend his streak of highlight-reel performances when the Bucks continue their six-game homestand against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at the Bradley Center.

This time he will go against veteran point guard Jason Kidd, a player who ranks third all-time on the National Basketball Association's assists list.

But Kidd and the Mavericks also will have to deal with the quickness of Jennings, who darted around and through the Warriors' defense while showing his full array of shots.

"I had the bigs on me, so I just had to turn the corner and shoot the floater every time," Jennings said of being able to get in the paint at key times.

And when the Warriors opted to go under the screens on the pick-and-roll play, Jennings made them pay with his accuracy outside the three-point arc.

It was that inside-outside combination that made Jennings too tough to cover.

"Actually, Stephen Jackson said something to me when he was holding me down that one time," Jennings related. "He said, 'You know what, rook, I can't let you go past me this time.' It was cool. It was a little Oak Hill love, a little bit."

Jennings referred to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, the famed prep school where both Jackson and Jennings played Basketball at different times.

Much is already being written about how Jennings fell to the 10th spot in the June draft while other point guards were chosen ahead of him. One of them, Stephen Curry, had 14 points and four rebounds while playing 26 minutes off the bench for Golden State. Curry was the seventh pick.

After playing less than 5 minutes in the first quarter Saturday, Jennings started the second quarter and never left the game again, playing 36 consecutive minutes.

"I know what it feels like to be in that zone," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "I've been in that myself many times. In any NBA game, when you get a guy going like that, you're foolish if you don't continue to ride that.

"You hope at 20 years old, that he's got enough left if you need him at the very end of the game."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 17, 2009

 

 
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