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.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
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