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Middleton has 24, Bucks send Grizzlies to 18th straight loss


Brandon Jennings feels a sense of urgency in trying to prove he belongs back in the NBA after signing a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jennings, who joined the team on Sunday, took a huge step in that direction Monday night, finishing with 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds as the Bucks sent Memphis to its 18th consecutive loss with a 121-103 victory.

Tasked with stopping Johansen and the rest of his teammates is Michael Hutchinson (2-0-0, 2.00, .933), who has won his only starts so far. Connor Hellebuyck played well Monday night in Washington, saving 40 of 43 shots, but will get the night off.

While Winnipeg was outshot 43-28 against Washington, captain Blake Wheeler felt his team played better over the last half of the game.

We were all over the puck. They weren’t able to make any clean passes, he said. We had all kinds of chances to win that game.

Pekka Rinne (37-9-4, 2.28, .928) is expected to get the start for Nashville after getting a game off on Saturday.

Kawhi Leonard remains sidelined and LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) is out as well, opening up a higher usage role for Anderson tonight. Yes, the Rockets’ defense is better than it has been in the past, but even the best defense in the NBA allows nearly 100 points a night, so, regardless of how you think this game plays out, there is going to be some cheap value available.

Brandon Jennings just resigned with the Milwaukee Bucks after being out of the league for a while, and in his season debut, he posted a double-double and flirted with a triple-double off the bench. However, he is still clearly behind Eric Bledsoe in the pecking order, and much of his production came in garbage time of a blowout game. Take his debut with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, it was enough to let him sneak into the back of the top 150 for consideration purposes.

Kevin Durant gets a boost in this week’s rankings with Curry’s ankle uncertainty. When Curry sits, Durant is a higher volume play that pushes him up into the top 10.

Kawhi Leonard is the ultimate mystery. He was rumored to be returning on Thursday, now there are reports that he won’t. If/when he plays, we don’t know whether he’ll be full speed or on another minutes restriction. Moving forward, he could be a top-10 player or not worthy of the top 150. As such, he settles in here just into the top 50 as a wildcard.

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