Jennings gives Boylan first win as Bucks coachBy Andrew Wagner, The SportsXChange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Jan 8, 2013 11:30 PM EST
MILWAUKEE -- Jim Boylan's debut as the Milwaukee Bucks head coach was memorable as his team pulled away down the stretch, snapping their season-high four-game losing streak with a 108-99 victory over Phoenix Tuesday in front of 13,014 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Boylan was promoted to head coach after Scott Skiles and the team came to a "mutual agreement" to part ways Monday night after four-plus seasons. "That was a nice win," Boylan said. "It's great to come out and to break our losing streak and to take over, have a coaching change and get the first win is great. Everybody brought something to the table and contributed. That was real positive." Brandon Jennings played a big role in Boylan's first victory, scoring 29 points with nine assists. He also went 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts, pacing a Bucks' offense that shot 53 percent from beyond the arc. Monta Ellis scored 13 and Ersan Ilyasova added 12. Off the bench, Beno Udrih finished went 5 of 6 from the field to finish with 10 points. Rookie John Henson had another big game, scoring 12 and pulling down 11 rebounds for his second double-double in the last three games. Larry Sanders also finished 10 points, eight rebounds and added six blocked shots, his fourth consecutive game with at least four rejections. "We all love Jim," Sanders said of the new head coach. "He always has a lot of energy and we kind of fed off that tonight." Goran Dragic scored 21 points to lead Phoenix. Jared Dudley added 18 points and Marcin Gortat scored 16 to go along with 14 rebounds and three assists for the Suns, who lost their third in a row. Phoenix shot 41 percent from the field but struggled with the 3-pointer, making just 4 of 20 and turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 22 Milwaukee points. "That's a team you can't turn the ball over against," Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. "You just have to make sure you're getting a shot at the basket. Obviously, Brandon shot the ball well from three but we just didn't come up with the plays. We have to come up with stops. We have to make baskets. We didn't do that and that's where the separation came." The lead changed hands eight times in the first two quarters as the Suns built a 56-50 lead at halftime. The Bucks came out hot in the third quarter, erasing the deficit and taking a 67-66 lead on Jennings' three-pointer at the 67-66 mark, part of a 13-0 Milwaukee run. Shooting 49 percent in the first half, the Suns got cold quickly during the third, shooting 8 of 24 from the field (33 percent) and made 3 of 7 3-point attempts. After Phoenix tied the game at 71-71 on Scola's jumper with 4:03 left in the period, the Bucks got out by as many as seven points, leading 78-71 after Mike Dunleavy's free throw with 2:34 left and Milwaukee led, 80-76 heading into the final quarter. NOTES: Boylan made one change to the lineup Tuesday, starting Ersan Ilyasova instead of Epke Udoh. "Hopefully, getting Ersan back in there, it gets us off to a better start," Boylan said. "We've been struggling a bit in the first quarter and hopefully we see a better output tonight." ... This is Boylan's second stint as an NBA head coach. His other opportunity also came after Scott Skiles was fired, posting a 24-32 record with the Bulls to close out the 2007-08 season. ... Phoenix forward Jared Dudley has scored 15 or more points 10 times since returning to the starting lineup Dec. 8. ... Jennings has made at least one 3-pointer in each of the last 21 games. ... Phoenix had won four straight against Milwaukee prior to Tuesday. The two teams meet again next week in Phoenix, where the Suns have beaten Milwaukee 24 straight times. ... Henson has double-digit rebounds in his last three games and is averaging 12.0 in his last four. ... The Suns have lost their last nine road games.
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