UTAH JAZZ

Kessler, George Carry Jazz To Bucks Sweep

Feb 4, 2024, 9:57 PM | Updated: Feb 5, 2024, 11:11 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz erased a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 123-108.

Seven Jazz players scored in double-digits led by Lauri Markkanen who finished with 21 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and dished out 13 assists in the loss.

With the win the Jazz swept the Bucks in their two-game season series and moved to 25-26 on the year.

Sign up for the new Jazz Notes newsletter! Receive game updates, exclusive analysis and chances to win Jazz tickets.

Jazz Youth Leads Comeback Over Bucks

Though Markkanen was the Jazz’s leading scorer, Walker Kessler and Keyonte George were the team’s best players against Milwaukee.

Kessler scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but most of his production came in the fourth quarter when he recorded nine points and five rebounds.

George added 19 points and a career-high 10 rebounds as both Jazz youngsters played the entire fourth quarter.

“He’s a young player and so there’s going to be ebbs and flows in terms of his success making shots,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Tonight was as aggressive as I’ve seen Keyonte on the offensive end in quite a while.”

Buried in the Jazz’s three-game losing streak was George’s reemergence from the worst stretch of his young career.

Over games in late January George shot 6-27 from the floor and recorded nearly twice as many turnovers (11) as made field goals.

But over his last four games, the guard appears to have broken through the rookie wall averaging 16.5 points, 3.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three.

“These next two months are where people can drop off — feel tired,” George said.
“I’m trying to test myself, see if I can push through the fatigue.”

Persevering through that first-year fatigue could be key for the Jazz as they continue their playoff push.

After Sunday’s impressive performance, the Jazz are 7-2 when George scores 19 points or more this season and just 9-13 when he fails to break double-digits.

Are These The Dogs Days Of The NBA

The Jazz are now 51 games into the 82-game regular season and have 11 days left until the weeklong All-Star break.

Though the Jazz are in the thick of the Western Conference Play-In Tournament race, the length of the season and next week’s trade deadline have to feel like the parachute on the back of a marathon runner trying to reach the finish line.

“I think there’s parts where your brain can see it in the distance,” Hardy admitted. “You can see the break coming, but I think we also you know we’ve got a lot of big games, we play a lot of really good teams coming up before the break.”

The Jazz will host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday before traveling to face the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

They then return to Salt Lake City to face the Golden State Warriors in a tw0-game series, separated by a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m a believer that you can steal a few [games] this time of year when other people’s minds are drifting,” Hardy said.

The Jazz will get a mini rest from Friday to Sunday after traveling to face the Suns. They then play three games in four nights, including a makeup date with the Warriors on February 15.

Nightly Award: Jazz vs. Bucks

The “It’s Okay To Like Things” Award:

Goes to Jazz fans who stood in long lines Sunday night to get a team-branded Stanley Cup before the game.

The Jazz announced their partnership with the drinkware company earlier this week and it proved to be a major hit.

Before the game fans waited in a lengthy line to get their Stanley cups customized underneath the Jazz logo.

Though I admittedly don’t own one of the now-viral mugs that have drawn both praise for their quality and criticism for their commercial appeal, I think the promotion was a hit, and clearly resonated with a huge swath of the Jazz fanbase.

Just as it’s okay for communities to spend hundreds of dollars on jerseys and sweatshirts that represent their favorite teams, it’s fine for fans to spend $40-60 on their favorite mugs.

The Jazz were smart to market to the crossover audience, and good for the fans who seemed happy with the product.

Utah Jazz Next Game

The Jazz will face the Thunder on Tuesday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

John-Collins-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Kyle Ireland

Luka Šamanić, John Collins Connect For Alley-Oop Dunk To Start Wizards-Jazz Game

Luka Šamanić and John Collins linked up for an alley-oop slam dunk in the opening minute of Utah's game against the Washington Wizards.

8 minutes ago

Toronto Raptors center Kelly Olynyk...

Ben Anderson

Former Jazz Center Kelly Olynyk Inks New Contract With Raptors

Former Utah Jazz center Kelly Olynyk has signed a new two-year contract extension with the Toronto Raptors.

3 hours ago

Keyonte-George-Utah-Jazz-NBA-Injury...

Ben Anderson

Keyonte George Questionable As Jazz Host Wizards

Keyonte George is the latest name added to the Utah Jazz injury report as they prepare to host the Washington Wizards.

4 hours ago

Lauri-Markkannen-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Kyle Ireland

Lauri Markkanen Ruled Out For Wizards-Jazz Game

Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen landed on the team's injury report and was ruled out for Utah's game against the Washington Wizards.

1 day ago

Caitlin-Clark-Iowa-Hawkeyes-NCAA...

The Associated Press

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark Passes Pete Maravich As All-Time NCAA Division I Scorer

Caitlin Clark of Iowa passes the late Pete Maravich as the all-time NCAA Division I scorer with her 3,668th point.

1 day ago

Utah Jazz guard Keyonte George...

Ben Anderson

Keyonte George Scores 31 In Jazz Loss To Heat

The Utah Jazz fell to 0-3 on their Eastern Conference road trip with a loss to the Miami Heat despite 31 points from rookie Keyonte George.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Kessler, George Carry Jazz To Bucks Sweep