NEW YORK – The Garden had been yearning for someone to show some gumption, to make a big play, to shake things up for crying loud out. That player was Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings.
Jennings did his best to repeatedly kick the Knicks while they layed down. The final blow came when Jennings drilled a 3-pointer with 1:39 left while Carmelo Anthony knocked him to the floor. Jennings and Anthony started jawing afterward and continued when Andrew Bogut fouled Anthony on the following play to sent him to the free throw line.
“I thought I got fouled on the three, personally, and then when I made it, I guess he got mad that I threw up the ‘three’ symbol,” Jennings said. “You know, everybody what’s to be tough between the lines. It is what it is, we got the win and that’s all the matters.”
The talked continued and Jennings and Anthony were issued a double technical foul. Anthony had earlier earned a double-technical for getting involved with Carlos Defino in the third quarter.
Jennings had delivered the knockout blow to a team standing punch-drunk and weary. The 3-pointer capped a night where he cooked the hapless Knicks for 36 points and 5 assists while the Milwaukee tamed the Knicks, 100-86. The talking, which, resulted in the second tech, sent Anthony to the locker room with 1:33 left to play.
Milwaukee, losers of three straight before Friday, scored their first road-win of the season and handed the Knicks their fifth consecutive loss. But it was also a demonstration of the bubbling frustration for New York. Anthony said his team got “punked.”
“I don’t know how to handle those punking situation too well,” Anthony said.
Anthony had good reason to be frustrated. His team only stayed in the game because of his 35 points, despite him . New York managed 37 percent from the field for the second straight game. Amare Stoudemire scored 15 points with 11 rebounds but struggled making easy baskets. Iman Shumpert missed all of his five shots and the Knicks bench accounted for four total field goals. Plus, Anthony had Delfino playing physical enough that he practically shared Anthony’s jersey until he fouled out in the fourth.
Then there’s the fact that the Knicks are constantly outplayed by the opposing team’s point guard, as ESPNNewYork.com’s Jared Zwerling highlighted in a story Thursday. Jennings hit six 3-pointers and shot 15 for 26 from the floor. Shumpert went 0 for 5 for 4 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Milwaukee also played without Stephen Jackson. Shaun Livingston started in his absence and scored 18.
“They were struggling just like we were,” Jennings said. “We knew that we had a chance to come in here and win and we played together and moved the ball well tonight and were able to come out with the win.”
In other words, everything the Knicks did not do.
Some fans might remember that New York passed on Jennings in the 2009 NBA draft, choosing Jordan Hill with the eighth overall pick. Milwaukee chose Jennings at the 10th spot. The Bucks star guard said he is not harboring any ill will.
“I’m over that situation,” Jennings said. “It happened three years ago. I’m just focused on helping this team win.”
Jennings has also made a name on New York City’s streetball courts, like Rucker Park and West 4th. Jennings even played exhibition games with his Under Armour squad at Boys & Girls and Lincoln high schools during the lockout.
“I love the city just in general,” he said. “It’s the mecca of basketball. I’m always here in the summer playing basketball in the streets of New York. It’s not just the Garden, it’s the whole vibe of the city.”
At least somebody’s feeling it.
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