A familiar face returned to the court of Vivint Arena in the jersey of another team and led said team in scoring with 25 points to lead a 144-116 route of the Utah Jazz.
Oh yeah, and Joe Ingles returned to Utah too, playing his first game in the city where he spent the first eight seasons of his career, but this time in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform. Memories of his time in Utah — during which he became the franchise’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made — came flooding back.
A warm welcome back to @vivintarena for Joe #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/lwTzbrBGVt— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 25, 2023
While Ingles got the pregame video tribute and standing ovation from the crowd — both well-deserved — it was another former Jazzman, Grayson Allen, who stole the show. Especially early on. Allen scored the first 11 points for the visiting Bucks and finished the game with 25 points, one of three Bucks players that finished north of 20 points (Giannis Antetokounmpo 24, Pat Connaughton 22).
Allen’s hot start the Jazz didn’t score at all, giving the Bucks an early 11-0 lead and Utah never really cut it down enough to make it particularly interesting. They did draw back to 20-14 but at halftime the Bucks led by 14 and then used a 43-27 advantage in the third quarter to extend their lead to a little too much for a shorthanded Utah team (still missing Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton, plus Lauri Markkanen missing the game) to overcome.
As evidenced by the 144 points, it wasn’t a one-man show by Allen. As mentioned, two other Milwaukee players scored 20-plus points and the Bucks as a whole shot 55.6 percent and 44.0 percent from three. Another thorn in the side of the Jazz was Brook Lopez. He scored 17 points and added 14 rebounds and seven blocks, often stymieing Walker Kessler at the rim and taking away a source of Utah’s offense.
Ingles came off the bench for Milwaukee, playing 22 points and tallying six points and six assists.
The Jazz did have one solid performance in that of Simone Fontecchio. The Italian led Utah with 26 points, setting a new career high in scoring just 11 days after the first 20-point game of his career.
SIMONEFONTECCHIO highlights anyone???#TakeNote | @zionsbank pic.twitter.com/s6ccdirtp2— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 25, 2023