AUBURN HILLS, MI - The Detroit Pistons haven't totally clicked yet after an offseason makeover, yet their new-look roster has shown a lot more potential than Milwaukee's.
Brandon Jennings made four consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter against his former team, and the Pistons overwhelmed the struggling Bucks with a dazzling first half in a 113-94 victory Monday night.
Jennings was traded from Milwaukee to Detroit last offseason after four seasons with the Bucks.
"At this point in my career, every game gets me geeked up," Jennings said. "I've got a lot of chip on my shoulder right now, so I'm just trying to prove that I can come over here and lead this team to the playoffs."
Jennings hadn't been shooting well for the Pistons, but that changed right away Monday, when he led Detroit on a 21-0 run toward the end of the first quarter. The Pistons led 38-18 after one and by as many as 34 in the third.
Jennings finished with 15 points and 13 assists. Brandon Knight, who went from Detroit to Milwaukee in the trade, scored eight points. The Bucks have lost nine straight.
"Right now we are a team that is searching -- searching for an identity," Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. "I expressed my disappointment in how we played, but the last thing I want us to do as a team is to feel sorry for ourselves."
Khris Middleton, also sent from the Pistons to the Bucks in that deal, had 14 points. John Henson led Milwaukee (2-11) with 15.
The Pistons have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. Their offseason shakeup, which included the trade for Jennings and the acquisition of free agent Josh Smith, hasn't paid dividends yet, but this game was a blowout almost from the start. Detroit (6-8) could gain ground quickly in an Eastern Conference that is full of struggling teams.
"We have a lot of talent. We've just got to put the chemistry together," Jennings said. "The East is real shaky. We've got a chance to really put some wins in now that we're at home."
This win was the start of a four-game homestand for Detroit.
"We needed it," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We don't want to keep winning one game and losing two games, one game. We never can get any rhythm like that."
Drew called a timeout 84 seconds into the game, with his team down 8-2. Detroit led 17-14 before its decisive run, which included three 3-pointers by Jennings in a span of 1:19.
Detroit's Charlie Villanueva, who had scored only 10 points all season, matched that total in the second quarter. He made a couple of 3-pointers and had a breakaway dunk after one of Milwaukee's 15 first-half turnovers.
It was 65-34 at halftime.
Villanueva finished with 12 points, one of seven Pistons in double figures. Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 17 points.
Knight turned the ball over six times.
"It wasn't a good experience just because my team struggled," Knight said. "I want my team to do well, so I'm just trying to focus on that and getting to playing the way I need to play."
One of the Pistons' strengths has been the offensive rebounding of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but they didn't need much of that Monday because they weren't missing many shots to begin with.
The third quarter began with a free throw -- Milwaukee's O.J. Mayo had been whistled for a technical foul as the teams left the court at halftime -- and the game quickly became tedious after that. The Pistons and Bucks combined to shoot 26 free throws in the third, but Milwaukee never cut into the lead in any meaningful way.
The Bucks' losing streak equals their longest since they dropped 15 in a row in 1996, according to STATS. The last time Milwaukee lost nine straight was in 2008 -- and that skid spanned the end of one season and the beginning of another.
We'll take you live to Crandon and update you on the death of a Lac du Flambeau woman whose body was found following a report of a gunshot early Wednesday morning. Three people were put in jail following the reported incident.
A lake in Conover has flooded, but not just from the rain. We'll bring you the details.
And we'll show you a Rhinelander pasty shop that is getting ready to re-open its door nine months after it caught on fire and closed down.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
CONOVER - June 22 makes it the 14th day of rainfall for us this month, and it's not been very convenient.
People all over northcentral Wisconsin have had to deal with storm damage or flooding in some way.
Pioneer Lake in Conover has had a particularly tough time with flooding not only because of the rain, but also because of a dam upstream.
"We've got 20 piers here, and they're floating away, they're underwater," said Maple View Resort and Campground Owner Tony Osiecki. "I've never seen it like this in fifty years."
Osiecki blames the deluge of rain we've gotten in the past few weeks for the flooding in his resort. But he and many others on the lake also blame a dam upstream.
It's located on the southwest side of South Twin Lake in Phelps. It's owned by Wausau-based Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company, and it's meant to maintain the levels of the Twin Lakes. Peter Hansen, the company's Vice President of Operation, admits they are releasing a lot of water--because they are federally required to.
"We are releasing an amount of water that is more than the 500-year rain event," Hansen said. "That means the rain that we've had, according to our calculations, is only supposed to happen every 500 years...We're doing everything within our federal license to lower the water level on Twin."
Downstream of the dam is the Twin River, which flows into Pioneer Lake. Hansen says the company is not responsible for what happens downstream.
That leaves some people frustrated
"[People] have been calling wanting to know what we're doing about the water and what they've got to do to fix it," said Pioneer Lake Association President Terry Wright. "If it's affecting us we have to have somebody we can call to change it."
In the meantime, Osiecki deals with the flooding.
"Move everything back a bit and try to get someone to close the dam and compromise," Osiecki said.
Hansen says the company has been able to cut back on the water release in the past few days, but with more rain in the forecast, that might change. He says Pioneer Lake does not have a controlled structure to help with the lake's water levels.
RHINELANDER - Hodag Park received a sizable donation Thursday morning. New sand was dropped off to help the Rhinelander Parks Department grow the beach back to its original shape.
There were thousands of pounds of sand dropped off and spread out. There was a high need for this because of all the rain we've had this season.
"It was getting in pretty poor shape and washing out more and more, but this year especially, it just seems like we've lost a lot of sand. So now we're going to shape it up nicely and hopefully it'll last the year," said Rhinelander Parks Director, Jeremy Biolo.
All of that sand was donated and delivered by a company in Rhinelander.
"Musson Brothers, Inc. donated all the sand and they said we could help ourselves to as much as we want, which is unbelievable because this beach really needed some work," said Biolo. "Every little bit like that helps our community out and it improves the community. It's awesome that the Musson Brothers stepped up and would do that for us."
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