The struggling Bucks look to avoid a sixth loss in seven games Monday when they face a Charlotte Hornets team playing much better basketball at home.
Besides becoming the youngest player in league history to score 50 or more points in a game with 55 in a 129-125 victory over Golden State on Nov. 14, the 20-year-old Jennings led the Bucks to their best 11-game start (8-3) since 2001. The rookie point guard averaged 25.3 points during that stretch while going 28 of 57 from 3-point range.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a rookie’s first 10 games better than this,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said following Jennings’ 29-point effort in a 95-88 win over the visiting Bobcats on Nov. 20. “Maybe somebody has, but he’s had as good a 10-game start as anybody I’ve been aware of in my 20-plus years in the league.”
Jennings, though, has been limited to 15.5 points per game on 34.7 percent shooting as Milwaukee (12-16) has dropped 13 of 17. He’s averaging 12.8 points during the Bucks’ current 1-5 slump, going 5 of 23 from beyond the arc.
Three nights after being held to a season-low seven points in 16 foul-plagued minutes in a loss to Washington, Jennings scored 10 Saturday as Milwaukee was handed one of its most lopsided defeats of the season—112-97 to San Antonio.
“We got some pretty good looks but we just weren’t making them,” said Jennings, part of a Milwaukee starting five that shot 34.9 percent from the field. “And a team like that, they’re going to come right back at you.”
The Bucks are looking to win for the seventh time in eight matchups with Charlotte (11-17), which is trying to bounce back from Saturday’s 98-91 loss at Oklahoma City.
“Score more points than our opponent,” coach Larry Brown said when asked what it will take for his team to improve on its league-worst 1-13 road record. “That is what all my coaches have always told me.”
The Bobcats are averaging 86.7 points on the road, but they are scoring 95.7 per game while winning 10 of 14 at home.
Charlotte has won seven of nine at home with Jackson in the lineup.
Michael Redd(notes) missed that game with a sprained left knee. He was held to nine points on 2-of-9 shooting Saturday in his third game since being re-inserted into the starting lineup. Three days earlier, he scored a season-high 32 against Washington.
The Bucks lost both games to fall to 3-9 when he plays, compared to 9-7 when he doesn’t.