Jennings lifts Bucks over 76ers, 91-88

Preview | Box Score | Recap

MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Milwaukee Bucks had run out of energy and nearly blew a 10-point lead in the closing minutes. The Philadelphia 76ers let them off the hook again and again and again.

Brandon Jennings(notes) scored 18 points, hitting a 12-footer with 22 seconds left, and the Bucks held on for a 91-88 win on Wednesday night after the Sixers missed three shots to tie in the final 11 seconds.

“We were clearly fatigued,” said Bucks coach Scott Skiles, whose team was outrebounded 51-35 and went 2 of 8 from the free throw line in the final 6:02. “We missed some free throws, we had a lot of things not go our way, but we were still able to get (the win).”

Milwaukee snapped a six-game skid against the Sixers, but needed Elton Brand(notes) to miss a short layup and a 17-foot fadeaway in the final seconds.

“I missed the chippie. So, I’m thinking, ‘OK. I got it back.’ Could have gotten a better shot, but the shot clock and everything, I thought I could just knock it down,” said Brand, who scored a season-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds. “I was making everything. So, I was pretty confident in that (second) shot.”

Then, after Luke Ridnour(notes) failed to hit a second free throw that would’ve given Milwaukee a four-point lead with 2.2 seconds left, Andre Iguodala(notes) clanked a 27-foot 3-point attempt at the buzzer to end it.

“Well executed plays. We just didn’t make a shot,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said.

None of them fell as Milwaukee improved to 5-0 at home since Jan. 1 and bounced back from a 108-107 loss in Dallas on Tuesday night. Milwaukee is 4-10 in games decided by three points or less.

“Hopefully the basketball gods even it out and toward the end of the year we’ll start getting some more to go our way,” said Charlie Bell(notes), who finished with 18 points.

Milwaukee led by 10 with 4:47 left, but went more than 2 1/2 minutes without scoring until Andrew Bogut(notes) hit the second of two free throws to make it 88-85 to stop Philadelphia’s 8-0 run.

Lou Williams hit a free throw to cut it to 88-86 with 1:53 left. The Sixers tied it when Brand hit an 18-footer over Bogut, but missed several good opportunities after Jennings answered with his only points of the fourth quarter to put Milwaukee ahead 90-88.

Jennings, who grew up idolizing Sixers guard Allen Iverson(notes) but had never talked to him until Wednesday night’s matchup, got off to a rough start by missing his first five shots.

But Jennings, who also wears No. 3, was clearly the better player than the aging superstar on this night. After his 0 for 5 start, Jennings went 8 of 13 from the field for the rest of the game.

Iverson finished with six points, all in the first half.

“A lot of close games so far have been not going our way,” said Jennings, who didn’t talk to Iverson beyond their greeting just before tip. “It was good to get a home win. We’re pretty good at home right now.”

NOTES: Milwaukee held a silent auction with all proceeds going toward the Red Cross Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Sixers center Samuel Dalembert(notes), a native of Haiti, also addressed the crowd before the game. … Jennings, twice honored as Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, was selected to play in the Rookie Challenge and will be the fifth rookie for the Bucks to appear in the game after Yi Jianlian(notes) (2008), Bogut (2006), Ray Allen(notes) (1997) and Glenn Robinson (1995).

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Philadelphia
E. Brand Elton Brand
12-20,  26 Pts
10 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Milwaukee
C. Bell Charlie Bell
8-17,  18 Pts
3 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
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Wednesday, Jan 27