It was a barrage that ensued and that would not relent, as the hot shooting from the Utah Jazz sank the Bucks Sunday evening, 95-84.
Milwaukee held a 53-51 lead with 6:58 remaining in the third quarter, but then disaster struck. The Bucks would go on a drought for the remainder of the quarter, failing to score a point. Meanwhile, Utah took advantage and ended the quarter on a 22-6 run. Jason Kidd said in rough stretches like that, optimism is a key.
“You’ve got to be supportive,” Kidd said. “You still give those guys plays that they’ve all run and hopefully the ball finds a way to get in or you get to the free throw line.”
Kidd went with a lineup consisting of a trio of Antetokounmpo, Plumlee and Henson multiple times throughout the night to try and matchup with Utah’s size, but it failed to make an event as the Jazz dominated on the glass.
“They’ve got two bigs that go to the boards every time and that kills your pace, especially if you come up with the offensive rebounds and they had 17 of them that slowed the pace down and gave them second or third opportunities,” Kidd said.
All in all, the Jazz hauled in 17 offensive rebounds, which then developed into 21-second chance points compared to Milwaukee’s seven. The length of the Jazz proved too much for the Bucks to handle down low, as they reeled in 45 total boards and held Milwaukee to a season-low two offensive rebounds. Miles Plumlee credited Utah’s size as reason for the large deficit in that category.
“They’re big,” Plumlee said. “[Rudy] Gobert is really unique in the fact that he’s got that length. We should have just done a better job as a team rebounding.”
The three-point shooting began to really ignite early in the fourth for Utah, as they quickly buried five 3-pointers right off the stretch. Several of those came from spacious defensive breakdowns from the Bucks, leaving Joe Ingles wide open multiple times. He connected on three consecutive threes from the corner in less than a minute, stretching the Jazz lead to 82-65.
“It is always nice to make some shots,” Ingles said. “I’ve been a little cold lately so it is obviously nice to see it go through the hoop a couple of times.”
Attempts by the Bucks to mount a comeback were thwarted every time by Utah, as Milwaukee was unable to complete any sort of a comeback. Utah’s biggest lead of the night was 17 points, which was more than big enough of a cushion to protect the Bucks from being competitive.
Jabari Parker led the Bucks in scoring with 19 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a team-high seven assists. In his last 14 games, Antetokounmpo has had more than seven assists 10 times.
For Utah, seven players reached double figures for just the second time this season. Their offense was led by the former Butler Bulldog duo of Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack. Hayward finished with 19 points and Mack recorded his third double-double of the season with 13 points and a season-high 12 assists.
Following tonight’s game, the Bucks take off on a three-game road trip to play Detroit (3/21), Cleveland (3/23) and Atlanta (3/25). They then return home for two matchups against Charlotte (3/26) and Phoenix (3/30).