Brandon Jennings took a chapter out of Kobe Bryant's playbook.
The Milwaukee Bucks point guard was bumped and battered on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Lakers star took the defensive assignment against him.
So on Saturday night at the Rose Garden, Jennings played "like Kobe" while applying full-court pressure against talented Portland rookie Damian Lillard.
It helped the Bucks get off to a rousing start as they bounced to a 22-point third-quarter lead and then desperately held on to defeat the Trail Blazers, 110-104.
The Bucks (21-18) finished their week-long journey with a 3-1 record, the first time they have posted three victories on a road trip since 2001. They moved within one-half game of Atlanta, the sixth-place team in the Eastern Conference race, and within two games of fifth-place Chicago.
"Actually I was able to watch the tape of Kobe pressuring me," Jennings said. "I was up at 1 o'clock last night watching.
"I just wanted to do some of the things that he was doing, pressuring me, trying to speed me up. He (Lillard) is a great young player and of course he got it going a little bit.
"But I was just trying to set the tone and I felt like I did that tonight."
Jennings finished with 30 points and eight assists and sank 4 of 6 free throws in the final 33 seconds to help secure the victory. Ersan Ilyasova added a season-high 27 points and tied a season-high with 14 rebounds.
Portland (20-20) lost its fifth straight game despite Lillard's 26 points and 10 assists. Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Brandon Jennings 'Kobe-like' in leading Bucks to win
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jan 20