Jennings scored 27 points and made five free throws down the stretch to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 94-88 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Jennings had his best game in the last six, shooting 7 of 17 from the field — including 2 of 8 from 3-point range. He sank 11 of 12 free throws and added seven assists.
“Second half of the season so, you know, you have to get a little more serious,” he said. “We have to come more mentally focused and ready to play.”
Michael Beasley(notes) scored 21 points and All-Star Kevin Love(notes) had 20 points and 17 rebounds. Wesley Johnson, who started for Brewer, scored 14 but it wasn’t enough as Minnesota lost for the sixth time in its last seven games in Milwaukee.
Brewer was not with the Timberwolves after being traded to the New York Knicks for forward Anthony Randolph(notes), center Eddy Curry(notes), cash and a 2015 second-round pick from the Denver Nuggets, who acquired center Kosta Koufos(notes) from Minnesota.
Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said it was a huge loss.
“Corey did a great job for us in practice and in games with his effort and his passion and how hard he played all the time,” Rambis said. “Everybody on the team loved him. We liked his enthusiasm for the game. I personally still think he’s growing as a player. He’s only going to get better. He’s going to be missed.”
Love also was sorry to see Brewer go.
“I value Corey tremendously as a person and also very, very much so as a teammate,” Love said. “He was big time for us on the defensive end and also adding a spark plug every time we put him into the game off the bench or we started him. We gave up Corey, who I loved as a teammate, but we still added a lot of talent, so we’ll see how this thing works out.”
Love hopes Randolph can provide the same type of energy Brewer gave.
“We’re just looking forward to Anthony Randolph coming in and, hopefully, adding that same spark,” Love said. “(Randoph) is the type of guy in the draft that everybody said had a lot of upside.
“We have to welcome him in, because he’s our teammate now. We’ve got to try to, I guess, bring him along and we want that upside to be in full effect.”
“We were able to maintain our poise and make enough plays, score enough points down the stretch to get a win,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.
After Ridnour’s jumper got the Timberwolves within one, Carlos Delfino(notes) missed a 3 for the Bucks. Ridnour missed and Jennings grabbed the rebound and drove to the basket. His layup was blocked by Johnson and the ball rolled out of bounds. Jennings was fouled on the ensuing play and sank two free throws with 1:17 left, giving Milwaukee a three-point lead.
Darko Milicic’s(notes) hook rolled in and out and the Bucks grabbed the rebound. After a Milwaukee turnover, Ridnour missed again and Delfino tipped the ball out to Jennings. He was fouled with 18.1 seconds remaining and sank both free throws to push the lead to five.
Ridnour missed a driving layup as time expired.
Milwaukee came in with the NBA’s worst shooting percentage (42.3 percent) and lowest-scoring offense (91.3 points per game). Milwaukee shot 38 percent from the field, while Minnesota shot 38.1 percent.
Notes: Brewer had permission to stay at the team hotel and left before the game started. … Minnesota G/F Martell Webster(notes) had a sore back, but played. … Bucks C Jon Brockman(notes) tied his career high with 14 rebounds. … Love extended his franchise-record double-double streak to 43 games. … Beasley had one rebound, an offensive board. … Milwaukee’s 30 3-point attempts were a season high.