On a night when the Utah Jazz picked up a second consecutive win over the team that had the best record in the Western Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks had one of those games you would just rather forget.
Milwaukee fell behind Memphis by 15 points at the end of the first quarter, trailed by 29 at halftime, was outscored 47-30 in the third quarter and ended up getting blown away 142-101 by the Grizzlies on the road.
“We were just beaten soundly in every way, shape and form, and we have to own that,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Jazz will try to build on the momentum they gained with a pair of nice victories over the New Orleans Pelicans at home earlier this week and the Bucks will try to get back to their usual selves when the two teams meet up Saturday in Milwaukee.
The Bucks should be plenty rested. Budenholzer let his reserves play most of the second half after it was clear that a win just wasn’t in the cards. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who only played 26 minutes, and Bobby Portis led Milwaukee in scoring with 19 points apiece.
“They were just playing well. Knocking down shots,” Antetokounmpo said of the Grizzlies. “They were running. Their pace was really fast. They were just playing good basketball.”
The combined results led to Memphis leapfrogging New Orleans atop the standings out West, while Milwaukee lost a bit of ground behind first-place Boston in the East.
The Jazz won a second straight game, escaping with a thrilling 132-129 overtime victory over the Pelicans on Thursday night.
Jordan Clarkson scored a season-high 39 points with seven 3-pointers and hauled in eight rebounds, while Lauri Markkanen netted 31 points.
“Got in a rhythm early,” said Clarkson, who scored 17 points in the first, marking a career-high for points in one quarter. “Mike (Conley) was feeding me, just getting open shots, all-in-the-flow offense. It definitely felt good to see the ball go in.”
Clarkson hit 15 of 26 shots to rebound from an 11-point outing on Tuesday.
Utah overcame a 13-point deficit to pull out the win.
“We talked all yesterday and this morning about how we know that’s a really good team, we know they’re well-coached,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “We know they have a lot of pride and they’re playing really good basketball.
“We knew it was going to be a long 48 minutes, which turned into 53 minutes.”
This game against the Bucks begins what Utah’s team website billed as “a road trip reunion” for the Jazz, who face the clubs of three former players in the next three stops: Joe Ingles in Milwaukee, Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland and Bojan Bogdanovic in Detroit.
Ingles reportedly isn’t likely to play until next week after missing an extended amount of time with an ACL injury.
“We had some good years and still keep in contact,” Mike Conley told the Jazz’s website. “I haven’t gotten to play against them so they’re going to be fun games.”
–Field Level Media