Utah Jazz 85, Milwaukee Bucks 73
A win is a win. Milwaukee was playing tired, and without Andrew Bogut, Mike Dunleavy, and Beno Udrih. That’s 33.6 points, 15.8 rebounds, and 9.3 assists the Bucks did not have at their disposal. I’m sure they would have made a difference, especially with Bogut doing all the dirty work inside on defense against our bigs, and guard penetration. But they couldn’t go, and we got the win. And a win is a win.
With Andrew not on the court, our own Al Jefferson had his own little party in the paint. And he invited all of his friends. The Jazz scored 48 points in the paint (+12 advantage), which defrayed some of the missed opportunities due to turnovers. The Jazz had 24 assists, and 24 turnovers tonight. It was a sloppy game, but the Jazz mostly ran away with it due to the energy of the second unit led by Earl Watson’s pure point tendencies, and Alec Burks and Derrick Favors vigor.
Statistically speaking Al was the big dog, scoring 26 points, pulling down 10 rebounds, and adding 5 combined steals and blocks to his tally. Paul Millsap also had a double double (13/12) with 2 assists, and 3 combined steals and blocks. The Jazz had to battle underperformance from Raja Bell, and on court injuries to Devin Harris (only 17 minutes), Josh Howard (only 4 minutes), and Millsap (got hurt but played through it); yet still seemed more fresh out there than Milwaukee – who squandered a great performance by Drew Gooden (24 and 12). Stephen Jackson was his usual inconsistent self (1-7 from deep), and Carlos Delfino and Brandon Jennings essentially shot the Bucks out of this game (a combined 4 for 26).
Our younger guys (Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Enes Kaner, and underused Jeremy Evans) combined for 34 points, 17 rebounds, and 8 combined steals and blocks. Not bad for a group of guys with hardly any experience.
I didn’t think the Jazz would win this game, but they did. Props to @MyHandle26 for being stronger in faith than me. He knew the Jazz would win, and he said so hours before we even learned about the Bucks’ missing three rotation guys.