The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96 on Wednesday, earning their second win in as many nights.
The Bulls got off to a fast start on their home floor, opening with a 24-9 run and ending the quarter with a 10-point advantage. Nate Robinson, in particular, came out with a vengeance, ending the frame with 13 points and a couple assists.
But the Bucks chipped away for the rest of the night, taking their first lead, 61-60, midway through the third. Leading by two with 2:44 left in the game, Mike Dunleavy Jr. hit a huge three-pointer that extended the lead to 98-93. Carlos Boozer answered with a jumper on the other end, but Ersan Ilyasova extended the lead back to five with a jumper of his own.
The Bulls would only score one more point for the rest of the night.
Brandon Jennings was sublime for the second straight game, finishing with 35 points, six rebounds and six assists in 41 minutes. Monta Ellis filled the box score with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals, Mike Dunleavy chipped in 16 points and Larry Sanders came up big with 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Nate Robinson stuffed the box score too, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals. He was flanked by a Carlos Boozer double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds), 18 points from Luol Deng and 12 rebounds from Joakim Noah.
The win—Milwaukee's second straight after a four-game losing streak—moves the Bucks to 18-16, keeping them half a game ahead of Boston for the East's seventh seed (the Celtics also won on Wednesday, 87-79 over Phoenix).
Chicago, meanwhile, drops to 19-14—half a game behind Atlanta for the East's fourth seed. They're mere percentage points ahead of sixth-place Brooklyn.
Player of the Game: PG Brandon Jennings (MIL)
As alluded to earlier, Jennings was unguardable for most of the night. He filled up the box score plenty, but was most adept scoring the basketball, where he finished with 35 points.
Jennings has never had trouble putting up scoring numbers, but he's sometimes struggled with shot selection. That wasn't the case tonight, however, where he shot 12-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Here are Jennings splits from the past two games compared to the previous four:
As the numbers suggest, Jennings is the keystone species in Milwaukee. They need him to keep up the steady play.
What's Next for the Bucks?
The Bucks head back to Milwaukee for a home game against the Pistons. After that, they embark on a four-game road trip at Toronto, Los Angeles (Lakers), Phoenix and Portland.
What's Next for the Bulls?
The Bulls head to New York for a nationally televised game against the Knicks. After that, it's back home for games against Phoenix and Atlanta.