Milwaukee Bucks rookie point guard Brandon Jennings made his playoff debut with a 34-point performance but couldn’t get much help from his teammates, as Milwaukee fell 102-92 to the Atlanta Hawks in a first-round opener in Atlanta on April 17.
Jennings’ one-man show thrilled the crowd for much of the night, as the slender 6-foot-1- inch, 169-pound guard sliced in and out of the lane and scored from long range. Jennings’ performance though brilliant, wasn’t enough to keep up with the six Atlanta players who scored double-digit points.
Shooting guard Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 22 points and five assists, and Jamal Crawford added 17 points and five rebounds off the bench. The game was Crawford’s first playoff appearance in nine seasons, and the possible Sixth Man of the Year Award winner helped Atlanta open a 22-point halftime lead.
Milwaukee cut the lead to seven with 7:56 remaining in the game, but Crawford and Johnson scored nine of the Hawks’ last 15 points to preserve the win. Jennings’ total was two points shy of tying the rookie record for points scored in a playoff debut, set by Derrick Rose last season with 36 points.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO