MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Jennings scored 30 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 106-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night that kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
Jennings, who hit three straight 3-pointers late in the game, was 9 of 18 from the field and finished with six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks, who snapped a three-game losing streak and beat New Jersey for the 11th straight time.
Philadelphia won in overtime at Indiana, meaning the 76ers’ magic number is down to one to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee trails Philadelphia by three games with three games left, including one against the 76ers on Wednesday.
Gerald Wallace finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for New Jersey, which hasn’t beaten Milwaukee since March 3, 2009.
MarShon Brooks had 17 points for the Nets, who lost their fourth straight.
It was the most points for Jennings since he scored 34 at New Jersey on March 12. The guard, whose season high is 36 points, led Milwaukee on a 13-4 run.
It began with a 3 from the left corner that gave the Bucks a 94-89 lead with 3:26 to play.
After a dunk by Brooks, Jennings drilled another 3 from the left wing for a 97-91 lead with 2:31 left.
Kris Humphries had another dunk for the Nets to trim the deficit to 97-93 with 2:19 remaining, but Milwaukee scored the next seven points.
Ilyasova’s layup was followed by a 3 from Jennings from the right wing for a 102-93 lead with 1:32 left. Shaun Livingston’s dunk after a turnover by Brooks gave the Bucks a 104-93 lead with 53 seconds to play.
In the first half, the score was tied at 37 when Milwaukee closed the second quarter with a 16-5 run. Two free throws by Drew Gooden with 1 second left gave the Bucks a 53-42 halftime lead.
Milwaukee’s lead was trimmed to 73-69 when Johan Petro hit a hook shot with 22.5 seconds left in the third quarter.
Notes: G Deron Williams missed his third straight game for New Jersey because of a sore right calf. . Ilyasova played after missing Milwaukee’s last game with right knee/quad soreness. . The Bucks’ Larry Sanders began his two-game suspension for his ejection from the Indiana game. . Milwaukee had lost its previous three home games. . Milwaukee was 26 of 37 from the free-throw line while New Jersey was 11 of 15.
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