Jazz Will Face Stiff Competition From Contending Bucks
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will put their 10-game home winning streak on the line when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
The Jazz have won five games in a row, and 15 of their last 16 overall en route to their league-best 20-5 record.
The Bucks meanwhile had their own five-game win streak snapped Wednesday night in Phoenix. The Jazz represent the fifth stop in a six-game road trip for Milwaukee.
Jazz Still Waiting On Mike Conley
That Jazz have been without guard Mike Conley for the last two games of the five-game win streak. Conley experienced tightness in his right hamstring last Friday in Charlotte, and missed Sunday’s game against the Indiana Pacers and Tuesday’s game against the Celtics.
The guard was in the midst of an All-Star caliber season for the Jazz averaging 16.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.7 rebounds while leading the league in overall plus-minus.
The Jazz looked rusty with Conley out of the lineup in Sunday’s win, though that could be attributed to the game marking the final stop in a four-day, three-game trip for the team.
Tuesday’s effort was far more impressive, capped by guard Donovan Mitchell’s 36 point, nine rebound, four assist performance.
Conley went through portions of practice for the Jazz on Thursday, though the team said he will miss Friday’s game against Milwaukee.
Bucks Also Shorthanded
The Bucks are all too familiar with the Jazz point guard pain. Guard Jrue Holiday has missed the last two games for Milwaukee after entering the NBA’s COVID-19 tracing protocol on Sunday.
The Bucks beat the Denver Nuggets on Monday despite playing without Holiday but fell short against the Suns on Thursday in a one point loss.
Holiday’s status is unclear ahead of Friday night.
Milwaukee erased a late Suns lead and had an opportunity to overcome Phoenix in the game’s final possession, but ultimately failed to generate a quilty shot with Holiday off the floor.
The Bucks own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference between the Philadelphia 76ers and the fifth-best record in the NBA overall at 16-9.
Rather than a key matchup consisting of two specific players, Friday’s game will likely be decided by the two teams’ three-point shooting.
The Jazz and Bucks are tied for the second-best three-point shooting percentage in the NBA at 40.2, trailing only the Los Angeles Clippers who connect on 42.2 percent of their three-point attempts.
The Bucks have the best offensive rating in the NBA and shoot the fifth-most threes at 38.4 per game.
The Jazz meanwhile have the league’s fourth-best offensive rating, but attempt the second-most threes at 42.3 per game.
In these two teams’ last meeting, the Jazz connected on a then franchise-record 25 three-point attempts in 53 tries. The Bucks made just 13-42 attempts and lost 131-118 despite a 35-point outing from reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Jazz and Bucks will tip-off at 7 pm MST on AT&T SportsNet.
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