Jazz At Bucks: Game Night

Jan 8, 2021, 5:19 PM | Updated: 8:19 pm
Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)...
Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Welcome to KSL Sports Game Night as the Utah Jazz take on the Milwaukee Bucks. Follow this page for updates throughout the night including pregame quotes from Bucks coach Mike Bunenholzer and Jazz coach Quin Snyder, starting lineups, and thoughts and highlights throughout the game.

The Jazz are coming off consecutive losses to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Bucks bring the league’s best offense into the game and are undefeated on their home floor.

Pregame Availability

Joe Ingles NBA iron man streak will end tonight when the Jazz face the Bucks. The Jazz guard has appeared in 418 consecutive games dating back to December 16, 2015. That means it’s been 1,850 days since Ingles last failed to suit up for the team.

I asked Snyder if that meant more opportunity for veteran guard, Shaq Harrison, to play tonight, but the Jazz coach was non-committal on who would suit up in place of Ingles off the bench.

“We’ve got hungry guys, they’re working hard,” Snyder said. “I have confidence that if I put them in the game that they’re going to compete and that’s that’s really all you want.”

Snyder and Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer know each other well from their time coaching together. Snyder was one of Budenholzer’s top assistants in Atlanta before being named head coach with the Jazz. The Bucks coach was complimentary of his former protege before the game.

“You don’t sleep well when you get ready to play Quin’s team,” Budenholzer said. “He’s is just a very creative mind both defensively and offensively.”

Bucks rookie and former Utah State legend Sam Merrill will return to the Bucks lineup tonight. The guard has missed two straight games with an ankle injury.

Merrill is averaging 2.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in five appearances with the Bucks this season.

Starting Lineups

First Quarter

Jazz open the game getting an quick two from Bojan Bogdanovic, and a three from Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale, and Mike Conley. Jazz are just so much better when the perimeter shots are falling, so that’s a good sign for the Jazz.

The Jazz slow rotation defensive forces Mitchell to wrap up Giannis Antetokounmpo which results in his second foul. Unfortunately after making a three as he needs to establish a rhythm at some point.

Jazz open the game 6-10 from three. They hit a then franchise-record 21 threes in a loss at Milwaukee last season.

The Jazz super deep defense against Giannis isn’t working. If they are going to give him that much momentum he’ll just rack up layups and foul shots all night. Derrick Favors doesn’t have the same length as Rudy Gobert and it’s too easy for Giannis to finish over him.

After picking up his second foul early in the game, Mitchell subs back in to the game as the Jazz are playing without Ingles. Snyder could have gone to Harrison or rookie Trent Forrest, but his risking Michell picking up his third foul instead.

Miye Oni in to close the quarter with Ingles out.

At the end of the first quarter, the Jazz lead the Bucks 34-31. Jazz hit 9 first quarter threes, but Giannis’ 16 first quarter points kept Milwaukee easily in the game. Jordan Clarkson leads the Jazz with 9.

Second Quarter

The Jazz open the second quarter with the big lineup for the first time this season. Favors and Gobert are being used in tandem to matchup with Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.

Second quarter offense for the Jazz has seen the benefits of 9 first quarter threes. Suddenly the Bucks are chasing Jazz shooters around the perimeter opening up looks for Gobert and Favors inside the arc.

On the flipside, Antetokounmpo’s dominance down low has opened up threes for the Bucks.

It continues to be Clarkson doing the majority of the damage as he’s up to 20 points in the first half.

But, it’s the Jazz penetration that has made it possible. The team is getting a ton of easy looks by breaking the paint and getting wide-open looks from deep.

The Jazz end the quarter well, but a running three from Antetokounmpo closes the Jazz lead to 7 at the break.

Third Quarter

Jazz opened the third quarter getting good play from Mitchell who continues to get into the paint and find shooters or get to his floater.

Scary moment as Antetokounmpo falls face-first from about six feet and really didn’t catch himself. Immediate rolled around on the floor holding his hip and was very slow to get up.

After a timeout and a trip to the tunnel, Giannis is back into the game.

Jazz have adjusted their defense against Antetokounmpo out of the half with Royce O’Neale picking him upon the perimeter and Gobert providing weakside protection. Smart to mix up protections throughout the game.

Mitchell is cooking now, he’s got 21 points and looks in total control on offense. This is one of the more decisive games he’s had in a while.

Mitchell continues to cook in the third quarter. He’s up to 28 points, including 16 in the third. This is the most comfortable he’s looked using all of his tools this season getting into the paint, finding shooters, getting to the rim, or pulling up from three.

Jazz keeping the Bucks at arm’s length so far.

At the end of the third quarter, the Jazz lead the Bucks 104-96.

Fourth Quarter

VERY clunky start to the fourth quarter for the Jazz, but the Bucks haven’t been any better, so the Jazz survive the non-Mitchell minutes.

He’s back in the game with the Jazz up 11.

He immediately extends the lead to 13 and reaches 30 points for the night… make that 32.

The Jazz extend the lead to 20 before an Antetokounmpo dunk trims it to 18, but those are the Bucks only points of the fourth quarter

Giannis’ hip is clearly hurting him after his early fall and he subs out of the game. The Jazz offense has slowed down and they are looking for an answer as neither Mitchell nor Clarkson are hitting shots.

The Jazz have a new team record with 25 made threes. The Bucks set the NBA record with 29 last week.

They close it out in Milwaukee for what is likely their best win of the season. Jazz win 131-118.

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