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News » Mavericks-Bucks Preview 2009-11-16

Mavericks-Bucks Preview 2009-11-16

Mavericks-Bucks Preview 2009-11-16There was a good chance the Milwaukee Bucks would struggle without Michael Redd in the lineup. Rookie Brandon Jennings has prevented that from happening.

Coming off a club-record performance, Jennings looks to help lead the Bucks to a fifth consecutive victory Monday night when they host the Dallas Mavericks.

In his seventh NBA game, the 20-year-old point guard scored 55 points and shot 21 of 34 in 40 minutes of a 129-125 win over Golden State on Saturday night.

The point total broke the franchise's previous rookie record mark of 51 set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - then known as Lew Alcindor - on Feb. 21, 1970. Jennings fell three points shy of Wilt Chamberlain's NBA rookie record set in 1960.

It was also the most points scored by a rookie since Earl Monroe's 56 in 1968, and the second-most ever by a player under the age of 21. LeBron James scored 56 points in March 2005.

"It was a very, very impressive performance for anyone, let alone a rookie in his seventh game," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said of Jennings, who did not score in the first quarter. "We just gave the ball to Brandon and let him go to work."

That's just what Skiles has had to do with the 10th overall pick who skipped college to play professionally in Italy last season, especially after star scorer Redd suffered a knee injury in the second game of the season. Redd could return as early as Monday or possibly Wednesday against New Jersey, but Skiles may need to keep putting the ball in Jennings' hands even after that happens.

Jennings, averaging 25.6 points on the season, has scored a combined 87 in his last two games while shooting 32 of 53 from the floor. Thanks largely to their rookie's heroics, the Bucks are 4-1 in the games Redd has missed.

Jennings credits Skiles with giving him a chance to produce so quickly in his career.

"For him to give me the opportunity to go out there and showcase my talent, I think that's real big of him, especially because I'm just a rookie," Jennings said. "A lot of coaches don't give rookies a lot of chances."

As the Bucks (5-2) try to win five in a row for the first time since Nov. 14-24, 2007, Jennings is ready to look forward.

"(Saturday) night, that's the past," he said.

Off to its best start since winning five of the first seven during its last playoff season of 2005-06, Milwaukee now tries for a third consecutive home win over Dallas (7-3).

That likely won't be easy against a Mavericks team that has won two in a row to improve to 2-1 on a four-game road trip after beating Detroit 95-90 on Sunday.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and Drew Gooden added 11 with 11 rebounds in place of starting center Erick Dampier, who was scratched due to illness. The Mavericks shot 43.9 percent, but outscored the Pistons 46-36 in the paint.

"Sometimes, things don't go the way you draw them up and you have to grind a game out," Dallas forward Shawn Marion said.

Nowitzki is averaging 25.7 points on the season and 27.1 in his last 14 games against the Bucks. He had 30 in Dallas' 133-99 loss at Milwaukee on Jan. 21, but 14 in a 116-96 home win over the Bucks on Feb. 25.

Averaging just 5.7 points and 4.3 boards, Gooden will likely get another start with Dampier expected to miss this contest.

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Added: November 16, 2009


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