Poor 4th Quarter Shooting Dooms Jazz In Loss To Bucks

Jan 7, 2019, 8:35 PM | Updated: Jan 8, 2019, 4:17 pm

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – The Utah Jazz played three strong quarters, but faded in the fourth in a 114-102 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks.

In the fourth quarter, the only starter who scored for the Jazz was Rudy Gobert, who had five points in the quarter. The rest of the team managed just 11 more points in the final period as the Jazz were outscored 31-16 in the final 12 minutes.

Donovan Mitchell, who had 26 points in the first three quarters, was held without a point in the fourth.

Jazz Play Three Strong Quarters

With Ricky Rubio out, Mitchell took over for the Jazz, scoring 15 points in the first half with three 3-pointers made.

Jae Crowder also played a strong first half for the shorthanded Jazz with 11 points in the opening 24 minutes.

After leading 62-58 at halftime the Jazz quickly built an 11-point lead in the third quarter. However, that lead vanished later in the period as the Bucks came back to catch Utah at 83-82. Still, the Jazz recovered and led 86-83 going into the fourth quarter.

Bucks Close It Out In Fourth

Maybe it was the difficulty of playing without either Rubio or Exum that did it, but the Jazz were severely outplayed in the fourth by the Bucks.

After shooting 45. 1 percent in the first three quarters, the Jazz shot a miserable 26.7 percent in the fourth as the shooting dropped off and the Bucks turned up the heat.

Milwaukee outscored Utah 31-16 and held Mitchell scoreless in the period.

Giannis Antetokoumpo scored nine of his 30 points in the fourth to close the door on the Jazz.

Rubio Leaves Game With Injury

Ricky Rubio came out hot for the Jazz, scoring nine points in the first quarter on 4-of-5 shooting to help Utah take an early 34-32 lead after the opening period.

Unfortunately, Rubio had to leave the game after scoring nine of the Jazz’s first 11 points in the game due to a hamstring injury. The Jazz, who were already without backup guard Dante Exum, who sprained his ankle Saturday in Detroit, were down to just Raul Neto as the team’s only true point guard.

By The Numbers

Playing in the absence of Exum and Rubio, Neto set a career high in minutes with 29. He finshed with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“It was good,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder of how his team battled being shorthanded. “We got guys, Raul came in and he’s got a big heart and he’s a good player. So we had confidence in the guys that we have and Royce (O’Neale) came in and gave us good minutes. The guys that are able to go, got to go”

Mitchell finished with 26 points while Rudy Gobert had a double-double with 14 points and 15 assists.

Next Up

The Jazz will return to Vivint SmartHome Arena where they will start a four-game homestand against Orlando on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Following the game against Orlando, the Jazz, with an 8-8 record at home will host the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers’ LeBron James has been out for several games with a groin injury and may be unavailable.

After the Lakers come to town, the Jazz will host the Chicago Bulls in a rematch of the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals.

The Jazz will wrap up the homestand against the Detroit Pistons, who the Jazz defeated 110-105 on the road last Saturday.

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