Jennings, Ellis Lead Bucks Past Warriors, 103-93
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OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — Brandon Jennings had 31 points and 10 assists, Monta Ellis scored 26 points against his former team and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away late to beat the Golden State Warriors 103-93 on Saturday night.
Ellis added five assists and five rebounds, and J.J. Redick finished with 15 points and seven assists while hitting some big shots in the fourth quarter to carry the Bucks to their fifth win in six games. In a matchup of teams transformed by a trade last season, Milwaukee has owned the matchup.
The Bucks are 3-0 against the Warriors since sending center Andrew Bogut to the Bay Area for Ellis.
Ellis shot 10 of 19 from the field and Jennings was 10 of 16, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc. Bogut had four points, four assists and nine rebounds in 29 minutes in his first game against the Bucks since the trade.
Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Stephen Curry had 16 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who played without David Lee. The All-Star forward sat out with a bruised right knee and is hopeful to return Monday night against the New York Knicks.
Milwaukee was also without its starting power forward. Ersan Ilyasova missed the game with a left knee injury that occurred in a loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. He is day to day.
After falling behind by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Warriors rallied back — briefly. Thompson made a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to slice Milwaukee’s lead to 86-85 midway through the quarter.
The Jennings-Ellis backcourt tandem turned out to be too much.
With the pair taking so much of the attention, Redick capitalized on the double teams the Warriors constantly threw their way. Redick made a difficult layup while Bogut hammered him to the floor, then hit two 3-pointers to put the Bucks ahead 96-87 with 2:47 to play.
Redick’s right ankle twisted awkwardly when he landed. He lay on the floor in pain, limped to the bench with the assist of a trainer but returned when play resumed.
At that point, the game already had been decided.
Bogut, drafted No. 1 overall in 2005 by the Bucks, hadn’t faced his former team since the trade last March that sent Ellis — a Warriors fan favorite — and forward Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee for the 7-foot center. Bogut has played in 16 of 63 games this season. He missed most while recovering from left ankle surgery and sat out another six recently because of back spasms.
Bogut already had been ruled out for the season with the ankle injury when the Bucks traded him last March. He missed Milwaukee’s win a few days later at Golden State and the Bucks’ victory over the Warriors in Milwaukee on Jan. 26.
The trade transformed the Bucks from a slower team that relies on a big man in the middle to a high-scoring backcourt featuring Ellis and Jennings — a similar type of undersized duo that didn’t work out for the Warriors. Ellis has started 81 games for the Bucks, including all 60 this season. He entered the game averaging a team-leading 18.8 points and 5.7 assists.
In his second game back at Oracle Arena since last year’s trade, Ellis received a spirited ovation when he sprinted out for pregame warmups and again during introductions. There was no exchange before the opening tip between Ellis and former backcourt mate Curry, and both sided stayed relatively reserved.
At least their emotions did, anyway.
Ellis put together an array of dazzling drives off the dribble that wowed the crowd at the start. He scored 10 points in the first quarter, but the Bucks still trailed 28-24.
Curry and Thompson helped give Golden State an eight-point lead early in the second quarter behind their usual smooth shooting strokes. Carl Landry, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, added 11 points off the bench in the quarter — including a three-point play over Larry Sanders that had him flexing his biceps to keep the Warriors ahead 48-47 at the half.
Both teams shot 18 for 39 before the break.
Ellis and Jennings juked the Warriors all over the floor but made their biggest marks from long range. Jennings made 5 of his first 7 from beyond the arc, and Ellis banked in a 3-pointer to put Milwaukee ahead 75-66 late in the third quarter.
Former Warriors forward Mike Dunleavy endured the boos throughout to hit another 3 that gave the Bucks an 80-70 lead to start the fourth. He finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
NOTES: Thompson had scored at least 20 points in his previous four games, a career best. … F Malcolm Thomas, signed to a 10-day contract from the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League on Friday, made his Warriors debut. He had two rebounds in three minutes. … Ish Smith had one assist in 3 minutes in his first action in a Bucks uniform since coming over in the trade that also brought Redick from Orlando last month.
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