Portland (14-10) at Milwaukee (10-11)

Fog Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Sat Dec 12, 2009
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It’s been three years since Milwaukee last beat the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bucks will likely need a healthy Brandon Jennings(notes) 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 streak.

“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(notes) 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(notes) scored 23 points, LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) had 22 and Andre Miller(notes) added 20 for Portland, which dressed nine players and fell to 1-2 on a four-game road trip.

With Greg Oden(notes) out for the season with a knee injury suffered last weekend and Travis Outlaw(notes) (foot) unlikely to return until February at the earliest, backup guard Rudy Fernandez(notes) (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 better.

“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.

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Saturday, Dec 12