Bucks’ Brandon Jennings torches Bulls in third for 104-96 win
ASSOCIATED PRESS January 9, 2013 10:00PM
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer is called for the foul as both he and Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova fall to the floor in the first quarter of the Chicago Bulls-Milwaukee Bucks NBA game Wednesday January 9, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: January 10, 2013 12:04AM
Jim Boylan had every reason to feel a certain comfort level Wednesday night. After all, the Bucks’ new interim coach was in the same position with the Bulls back in December 2007 after Scott Skiles was fired.
Skiles was at it again this week, mutually parting ways with the Bucks and leaving Boylan in charge. It was sort of a homecoming.
The Bucks also are starting to have a certain comfort level when visiting Chicago.
After shocking the Bulls in their last meeting at the United Center by overcoming a 27-point, third-quarter deficit, the Bucks only needed to overcome seven in the third quarter this time around to beat the Bulls 104-96.
Then again, when Brandon Jennings is allowed to score 20 of his game-high 35 points in the third quarter against a team that prides itself on defense, deficits of any amount become a little easier to overcome.
“We gave [Jennings] space,’’ Thibodeau said. “You give him space, he’s going to make it. We started off the game with a good edge, then we started to trade buckets.
‘‘They picked up steam, so you usually get what you deserve. We got what we deserved.’’
It wasn’t just that Jennings scored 20 in the third, but how he did it, hitting four of seven three-pointers and letting Nate Robinson know about it each time by imitating Robinson’s “flaps down’’ post-big-shot celebration with each shot he made.
“That happens,’’ Robinson said of Jennings’ antics. “Happens all the time. That’s just part of the game. It’s a team game, and you can’t get caught up in the one-on-one.’’
Jennings didn’t seem to get that memo and said he was angry with the trash-talking from Robinson at the end of the first half.
“I don’t know what set [Jennings] off,’’ Boylan said. “Two guys that like to talk a lot, put them in a room together, and that will happen.
‘‘Nate had it going in the first half, and that seemed to get Brandon going. It won’t be the last time this season those two go at it.’’
Thibodeau has had several “talks’’ with Robinson this season about his style of play, going back to the preseason, and wasn’t pleased that Robinson seemed to get caught up in the one-on-one stuff with Jennings.
“It’s a competitive game,’’ Thibodeau said. “Some guys do it, and they’re fine. To me, if you do it, that’s the way you are, and you’re not distracted. I would prefer you just concentrate on doing your job.
“We wanted to make it a you-shoot, I-shoot game, and you’re not stopping anyone like that.’’
The Bulls were led by Carlos Boozer’s 22 points, but losing two of three to the Bucks still wasn’t sitting well.
“We win together; we lose together,’’ Thibodeau said.
“We have to make the necessary corrections and be ready for New York.’’