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Bucks roll past Pistons

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Associated Press
January 31, 2012
— Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles is not quite ready to call Brandon Jennings an All-Star. With a few more victories, he might be.

Jennings had 21 points, reserve Mike Dunleavy added a season-high 20 on 8-of-10 shooting and Milwaukee rolled to a 103-82 victory over the skidding Detroit Pistons on Monday night.


“Realistically, we’ve got to have a better record,” Skiles said when asked about Jennings’ All-Star chances. “Let’s see what our record is when the vote comes across my desk. I think you have got to be on a winning team. That should be one nice measurement, and we’re getting close to being a winning team.”


Milwaukee, which has won four of six after losing three straight, improved to 9-11.


“It would be nice for us to go ahead and punch through .500 and see what happens,” Skiles said.


Drew Gooden shot 7 of 9 and scored 16 points for the Bucks, including seven straight during a decisive 12-2 run to open the second half. Detroit, which has lost five straight and nine of 10, never led in falling to 4-18.


Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 19 points, and Greg Monroe added 16 points and 10 rebounds.


“We’ve been inconsistent this whole year,” Stuckey said. “It comes together, then it falls apart. We’ve just got to make it sustain for 48 minutes.”


Jennings scored nine points in the first 7½ minutes, helping the Bucks to a 30-16 lead after the first quarter. He added 12 in the third period.


“We were just moving the ball well,” Jennings said. “We just looked like a good team out there.


“We’re just rolling right now,” he added. “We’ve just got to keep the team spirit and just keep everything positive. ... I think we should be above .500.”


Milwaukee, led by Gooden, opened the third on a 12-2 run to turn a 47-41 halftime lead into a 59-43 advantage.


“We’ve been having a lot of third-quarter woes around here, and Coach is always talking about not letting a team come back,” Gooden said. “I was keeping that in my mind, just knowing that I was going to start the third quarter off with a lot of intensity. Just keep that mindset that we’re not going to let up and be front-runners and just kind of go for the jugular.”


Detroit got within 10 points in the third, but the Bucks sealed it by making nine of 10 shots spanning the third and fourth quarters — with the only miss being a three-quarters-court try by Jennings at the end of the third — to extend the lead to 75-60.


Milwaukee led by as many as 23 points in the fourth.


Jennings came in averaging 20 points per game and has scored 20 or more in eight of the Bucks’ last nine games.


The only time he didn’t during that stretch was Milwaukee’s 100-89 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. He had 12 points and seven assists in that game.


“He’s playing great, making good decisions, shooting the ball really well, doing a great job of leading our team. What else can you say?” Dunleavy said.


Tayshaun Prince had 14 points for Detroit, which dropped to 1-10 on the road. Milwaukee is 6-2 at home.


Detroit, which has the second-worst record in the NBA behind Charlotte, was without Ben Gordon (sore left shoulder), Charlie Villanueva (sore right ankle) and Will Bynum (strained right foot). All three are day-to-day.



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