I imagine the Utah Jazz were pretty exhausted headed into this game tonight. Their long road trip has forced them into playing a ton of games in very few nights. After a loss to the Kevin Durant-less Brooklyn Nets and the lowly New York Knicks I wasn't sure what to expect against the Eastern Conference powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks.
But boy the Jazz didn’t disappoint tonight.
The game started off a little rough with the Bucks jumping out to a 5-0 lead. I was already pretty worried given the background to this game. But a barrage of 3 pointers brought the Jazz ahead. 6 threes went down in the first 6 minutes.
It was an even battle throughout the rest of the 1st and the Jazz took a small lead after one, 34-31. The Jazz were very balanced with 5 players scoring at least 5 points. On the other side it was the Giannis show after he had 16 in the first.
The second quarter was equally exciting. It looks like the Jazz are finally playing good basketball again! The offense looked great despite being on the road against one of the league’s best defenses.
Jordan Clarkson absolutely exploded and had 23 at the half. That trade will go down as one of the very best in franchise history. Giannis had 25 and definitely looked like an MVP. He’s capable of taking over at times. But the Jazz as a whole had ouplayed the Bucks. Well, they really had just out-shot them. 14 threes at halftime!
2nd half! Donovan took over early in the 3rd and played like an All Star again. He is so fun to watch when he’s got it going. He looked more decisive and made great plays. Royce is also having a career night with 5 threes already! I don’t remember the last time he scored like this. Big game for the important role player.
Middleton woke up a bit and the Bucks kept it close. Back to back 3’s trimmed a 9 point lead to 3 and Quin Snyder called a quick time out .But some more threes broke it open a bit and the Jazz took an 8 point lead into the 4th quarter.
I can’t believe I got this far without mentioning the 2x DPOY Rudy Gobert. He had a quite night scoring with just 9 and 14 rebounds. But he made his presence felt on the defensive end with 4 blocks tonight. The Jazz ran away with it in the 4th and Donovan led the way with 32. They pulled out a big time road win and improved to 5-4 on the season.
Shoutout to Utah State graduate Sam Merrill! He might be my most favorite collegiate basketball player of all time. Pretty fun to see a Bountiful, Utah high school graduate out there playing against the Jazz. He only played a minute but scored a couple points and had an assist as well. I’m convinced that his shooting will make him an NBA player for a very long time.