Bucks 102, Wizards 74
Even when he isn’t putting the ball in the basket himself,
Brandon Jennings knows full well he can help the Milwaukee
And gain some attention in the process.
Jennings’ perfect alley-oop pass from two steps across
half-court led to Andrew Bogut’s dunk that helped set the tone in
the first quarter, and the surging Bucks went on to beat the
Washington Wizards 102-74 for their eighth victory in nine
“Hopefully that makes ‘Top 10’ tonight on ‘SportsCenter.’ It
was a pretty good catch,” Jennings said of his play with Bogut
midway through a 13-0 run by the Bucks. “Tonight it was clicking.
I was finding guys, and they were knocking down shots. So when
things happen like that, I guess you have a good night.”
Jennings was near the left sideline when he tossed the ball
across the court to Bogut, who went over Wizards center JaVale
McGee for the slam and came down on the 7-footer’s shoulders.
Bogut led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds despite sitting
out the fourth quarter, and the Bucks also got 19 points from
Carlos Delfino, along with 17 from John Salmons.
Jennings’ recent shooting problems continued – he was 2 for 7
for four points – but he did have nine assists, only one fewer than
the entire Wizards team.
“That’s what we need from him,” Bogut said. “He knows we
don’t need him to score. People get on him because he’s not making
shots, but he’s running this ballclub as well as anyone has. He’s
moving the ball, and his defensive pressure has been great.”
Jennings has been shooting only slightly better than 25 percent
during Milwaukee’s recent nine-game stretch, which has pushed the
team squarely into the playoff picture. After he was 2 for 12 in
Milwaukee’s home victory over Washington on Wednesday, the rookie
guard spoke about perhaps not even wanting to shoot the ball any
Bucks coach Scott Skiles gave him a bit of a talking-to about
that, saying before Friday’s game: “We’re not fond of that kind of
statement. He’s too important to our team and our franchise to have
any sort of defeatest-type mindset right now. And he doesn’t,
Jennings acknowledged his coach’s point, and called his own
comments a result of “a moment of frustration, not thinking and
just letting my anger out.” He also said he’s “always going to
“(Skiles) said it was a little bit immature and
irresponsible,” Jennings said. “You need to just play basketball
and do other things out there on the court, and that’s what I tried
to do tonight.”
The Bucks held the Wizards to season lows in points and assists.
But Washington coach Flip Saunders and some of his players placed
much of the blame squarely on the Wizards themselves.
“We’re not good enough to play 1-on-1,” said guard Mike
Miller, who scored six points.
The Wizards are a completely revamped team, one without any of
the players who rank 1-4 in scoring average this season: Gilbert
Arenas (season-ending suspension for bringing guns into the locker
room); Antawn Jamison (traded to Cleveland); Caron Butler (traded
to Dallas); Josh Howard (season-ending knee injury). Starting
center Brendan Haywood also was dealt to Dallas.
“We just didn’t compete tonight. It carried over to defense. It
carried over to offense. We had missed layups, missed shots,”
Saunders said. “We were out of sync the whole time.”
NOTES: Milwaukee led 51-36 at halftime, thanks in large part to
Bogut’s 14 points and eight rebounds. … The Wizards, somehow,
finished the first half with a grand total of only three assists.
… Skiles turned 46 on Friday, but was blase about the occasion.
“I’m not a big birthday-celebrating guy,” he said. … Before the
game, Saunders said of McGee, who has moved into the starting
lineup: “He makes glaring mistakes when he makes mistakes – not
getting back on defense and things like that.” … Saunders said
the Wizards hadn’t decided whether to keep Mike Harris, who signed
a 10-day contract last week.