MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Jennings is trying to take over close games in the fourth quarter.
Jennings was very successful doing that Tuesday night as he scored nine of his 25 points in the final period to lead the Bucks to a 110-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He also added three assists in the quarter.
Jennings said he wants to be the key player late in games and has been focused on it in recent weeks.
”It is something that I’ve been working on, especially during the (recent) road trip, just trying to take over games,” he said. ”I’m just trying to get the best possible shot for the team. That’s just me growing and learning.”
Ersan Ilyasova also came up big again for Milwaukee as he had 27 points and 16 rebounds. He also had 27 points and 14 rebounds in Milwaukee’s 110-104 win Saturday over Portland.
”Ersan gots his groove back,” said Monta Ellis, who added 18 points and 10 assists for Milwaukee. ”He really has been playing well for the last few games and has given us a big boost.”
Bucks coach Jim Boylan credited Ilyasova for being a very active player.
”He has that knack for tipping the ball to himself rebounding and coming up with the basket,” he said. ”When you look at Ersan, you don’t really see a great athlete, but rebounding is just determination. When he’s determined to get the ball, he’s bound to get it.”
Milwaukee has won six of eight games since Boylan replaced former coach Scott Skiles, who parted ways with the team following a season-worst four-game losing streak.
Jennings said the team has had a lot of success under Boylan because he is letting them ”just play.”
”Everything is going well right now,” Jennings said. ”We are playing with lots of confidence. This was a big win for us as in the past when we win a few games, we end up losing to a team we should not lose to.”
Evan Turner scored 23 points to lead the 76ers, Spencer Hawes added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Nick Young scored 20 points. Philadelphia lost its fifth straight on the road, and 15th in its last 21 overall.
Young said the 76ers have to figure out a way to win close games.
”Somehow we have to figure it out, come together and stay together as a team,” he said. ”We know what the problem is. We’ve been in every game so far and fought back. If we can come out of the gate and get a couple shots to go in, get our blood going a little bit, it’ll be a different ball game.”
Philadelphia hit just 2 of its first 16 shots, a point not lost on coach Doug Collins.
”First quarter again. We were down 10 so you play uphill the entire game again,” he said. ”You’ve got to share the ball, you got to help each other out and you’ve got to talk on defense. We’re not good enough to do it ourselves. We’ve got to do it collectively.”
The Sixers used a 17-7 run to start the fourth quarter, cutting the Bucks’ lead to 90-86 when Thaddeus Young stole the ball and scored on a breakaway layup with 6:47 remaining.
Ilyasova made 1 of 2 free throws to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 99-92 with 3:56 left. He then hit a jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes to go, stretching the advantage to nine points.
Hawes hit a baseline jumper to trim the lead to 101-94 with 1:39 remaining, but Milwaukee made 4 of 6 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Larry Sanders had two blocked shots, giving him at least one in his last 27 games, the second longest streak in the NBA behind Tim Duncan, who has blocked a shot in 29 straight.
NOTES: 76ers guard Royal Ivey made the start in place of Dorell Wright as Collins wanted more speed in his starting lineup to defend Jennings. … Bucks F Marquis Daniels was sick and inactive for the game. Rookie guard Doron Lamb, who was recalled Monday from the NBA Development League, suffered a sprained ankle and was also inactive. … 76ers guard Jason Richardson did not travel with the team due to left knee synovitis.
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