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News » PISTONS 113, BUCKS 104 (EXHIBITION) Awestruck Jennings holds his own at Palace

PISTONS 113, BUCKS 104 (EXHIBITION) Awestruck Jennings holds his own at Palace

PISTONS 113, BUCKS 104 (EXHIBITION)  Awestruck Jennings holds his own at Palace By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Auburn Hills, Mich. - Brandon Jennings admitted he was in awe playing at the Palace on Wednesday night.

But that feeling quickly faded for the Milwaukee Bucks' rookie point guard, as he was tossed into the fray for 27 minutes in the team's second pre-season game.

Jennings faced a tough task trying to guard Detroit's Will Bynum, and the Pistons backcourt dominated in a 113-104 victory over the Bucks at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

But the 20-year-old Jennings also showed some progress with a team-high 18 points, six assists and six steals, despite five turnovers.

"I was out there playing a lot and I was a little fatigued," said Jennings. "I just had to play through it and keep playing.

"I'm not going to lie; I was a little nervous today, playing in the Palace and Detroit Basketball.

"A lot of players came through here, guys like Isiah Thomas. I felt I just had to come out here and run the team and focus on the defensive end."

Jennings was 5 for 11 from the field and 6 of 10 at the free throw line.

"That's what he needs, the floor experience," said Bucks coach Scott Skiles. "He made some great plays. He made some plays where he looks like he has a lot to learn, which is understandable for his second NBA game."

Former Chicago Bulls guard Ben Gordon paced the Pistons with 24 points in 28 minutes off the bench.

"We haven't yet figured out how hard we need to play, what type of defense we need to play," Skiles said. "We look like we're on the soft side out there."

Gordon, who played for Skiles when he was coach in Chicago, had seven points and Stuckey added six in the pivotal third period.

"He's the most unique player I've been around," Skiles said of the 6-foot-3 Gordon. "He can be out there for several minutes, and it seems like something's not going right for him. And bam, he can just score in bunches."

Skiles pointed out before the game that his team must produce better regular-season results against Central Division foes if it intends to gain respectability.

Last season the Bucks were 4-12 against division opponents: 1-3 vs. Detroit, 1-3 vs. Chicago, 0-4 vs. Cleveland and 2-2 vs. Indiana.

"This is a team we need to do well against this year; we need to bare minimum split with," Skiles said of the Pistons. "We've got to find a way to get that done."

Bucks center Andrew Bogut played the entire first quarter and was productive, scoring nine points on 4-of-6 shooting and adding four rebounds. It was Skiles' plan to have him play 12 minutes in a row before sitting out the rest of the game.

"I felt pretty good," Bogut said. "It's always tough to play 12 minutes straight, but that was a goal I had for these first couple games.

"Hopefully we can progress for the next game and the game after, and by the time the season rolls around, it should be for full minutes."

Bucks starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova had 14 points but failed to grab a rebound in 22 minutes, and Hakim Warrick added 12 points and six rebounds.

"We'll look at something different in a couple different spots on Saturday; I'm not sure yet," Skiles said. "Maybe Kurt Thomas. I mean, we're getting a little bit manhandled early in games on the interior. We'll see what happens."

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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Added: October 9, 2009


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