Jennings, Bucks hang on to beat Warriors
OAKLAND – After scoring an NBA-season high 55 points against the Warriors earlier this season, Milwaukee rookie Brandon Jennings heard a few negative comments about his game from some of Golden State’s players.
Jennings used the criticism to his advantage.
Milwaukee’s young guard broke out of a weeklong shooting slump and scored 25 points, including a pivotal 3-pointer with 18.9 seconds left, and the Bucks held on to beat the Warriors 113-104 on Friday night.
“I had heard from my coach that (the Warriors said) ‘He’s not going to come in here and score 55 again, he’s not shooting too good now,”‘ Jennings said. “I heard all types of little things. It’s cool. It was nothing personal, just a little motivation.”
Jennings, who was shooting only 25 percent from the floor over his previous four games, struggled with his shot most of the night against Golden State but grabbed a key rebound in the final minute before his 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 108-102 lead.
Monta Ellis scored on a quick layup for the Warriors, but Luke Ridnour made a pair of free throws to seal the win for Milwaukee, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
“This one was better than the first one for me,” said Jennings, who set a franchise rookie record with his 55-point performance in the Bucks’ 129-125 win over the Warriors on Nov. 14. “The comments that were said about me … I wanted to come here and get the win in their house.”
Ellis had 33 points and eight assists and Corey Maggette added 32 points and nine rebounds for Golden State (11-27), which lost its third straight.
The Warriors, who entered the game with just eight players in uniform, lost Anthony Morrow to a knee injury and had three others foul out, leaving coach Don Nelson with only four players. Under NBA rules, Stephen Curry – the last Golden State player to foul out – was allowed to return for the final four seconds.
“I thought we did the best job we could,” Nelson said. “I have no complaints from the effort the guys have. It was hard for them to finish with not that much in the tank.”
Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 16 rebounds, Ridnour added 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench, and Hakim Warrick scored 15 for the Bucks (16-21).
It didn’t come easy despite the Warriors playing short-handed all night.
Milwaukee trailed most of the first half and didn’t take control until going on an 11-2 run to end the third quarter. The Bucks then held off a late Golden State charge despite making only three baskets over the final six minutes.
“We don’t really feel for Golden State because of their record, we need to win as much as they do,” Bogut said. “We have our own injuries and problems to deal with. A win’s a win in the NBA whether it’s against the Lakers or the Warriors.”
Golden State guard C.J. Watson sat out with a cut between the first and second fingers on his right hand, Ronny Turiaf was in street clothes due to a sprained right ankle, and Vladimir Radmanovic is sidelined with a sore Achilles’ tendon in his right foot.
Watson spoke with reporters before the game and said he expects to be out 1-2 weeks. As he talked, injured forward Anthony Randolph walked in with the aid of crutches with his left foot in a boot. Randolph injured his ankle in the Warriors’ 108-101 win over Sacramento on Jan. 8 and may not return for another two months.
That left Nelson with only three players on his bench to start the game: a pair of Development League call-ups and 11-year veteran Devean George. That number was down to one after Anthony Morrow suffered a sprained right knee in the first quarter and Chris Hunter fouled out with 5:16 left in the third.
Even with a thinned-out bench, the Warriors led by four late in the third quarter before the Bucks rallied to take an 84-79 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to keep the tempo up and wear them down a little,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “When we got the lead, we didn’t let up. Brandon made some big shots for us when we needed him to.”
Milwaukee pushed its lead to nine early in the fourth quarter and was ahead 100-92 on a Warrick free throw with 6:08 left to play before Golden State made its final push.
Maggette’s layup with 1:04 remaining cut the Bucks’ lead to 105-102. After Andris Biedrins fouled out with 51 seconds left, Jennings made his key 3-pointer.
NOTES: It’s the 13th time this season the Warriors have played with nine or fewer players in uniform. … Milwaukee’s road trip is the team’s longest since 2001. … Ellis played all 48 minutes for the eighth time this season. The rest of the NBA had only 12 complete games entering Friday. … The Bucks swept the season series from the Warriors for the first time since 2006-07.