Trail Blazers-Bucks Preview

It’s been three years since Milwaukee last beat the Portland

Trail Blazers. The Bucks will likely need a healthy Brandon

Jennings to help change that.

Despite a knee injury, the emerging star guard is expected to

play Saturday night as the host Bucks try to avoid a sixth

consecutive loss to the injury-plagued Trail Blazers.

Averaging a team-leading 21.1 points per game, Jennings

hyperextended his knee in the second half Wednesday in Milwaukee’s

117-95 home win over Toronto that snapped a four-game losing


“I went to the rack, came down funny and just hyperextended

it,” Jennings said. “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, however, doesn’t believe the injury is serious and

expects to start as the Bucks (10-11) try for their first win over

Portland since Dec. 6, 2006.

The 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Jennings was shooting

32.5 percent and averaging 16.0 points over his previous nine games

before going 8 of 14 from floor to finish with a team-high 22

points as the Bucks shot 52.5 percent and had seven players in

double figures for the first time since March 7.

“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 and I need to

be more aggressive.”

Milwaukee will likely need Jennings to be the latter in this

contest. The Bucks averaged 95.2 points while losing eight of nine

prior to Wednesday’s victory, and 84.5 in a pair of losses to the

Trail Blazers last season.

The Bucks, however, could have former All-Star Michael Redd back

after he missed seven straight games with a sore left knee since

returning for three after sitting out nine in a row with a strained

tendon in the same knee.

Redd, a career 20.4-point scorer, is averaging 9.8 in five games

this season, but 21.0 in 13 all-time against Portland.

The Trail Blazers (14-10), also hit hard by injuries, look to

bounce back from a 104-99 loss at Cleveland on Friday.

Brandon Roy scored 23 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 and Andre

Miller added 20 for Portland, which dressed nine players and fell

to 1-2 on a four-game road trip.

With Greg Oden out for the season with a knee injury suffered

last weekend and Travis Outlaw (foot) unlikely to return until

February at the earliest, backup guard Rudy Fernandez (sciatic

pain) could miss a fifth straight game for the Trail Blazers,

losers of five of seven.

Injuries aside, Roy knows the Trail Blazers must play


“We have to or we’ll get beat by 30,” said Roy, who’s averaging

26.4 points in his last five games and 22.6 in five career contests

against the Bucks. “We have no room for error. At the beginning of

the season, we thought we did. Now if we relax for one quarter, we

can get blown out by any team.”

Roy had 30 in Portland’s 96-84 win at Milwaukee in the teams’

most recent meeting March 21.