The Utah Jazz (36-22) took care of business on game one of their three-game road trip, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks (25-31) by the final score of 109-95. Before this game started we were all made well aware of the Bucks ability to cause havoc on defense, and turn that into transition scoring opportunities. The Bucks had won three games in a row, and their All-Star forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was ascending to that next level of stardom. This was going to be a test. And after the first few minutes it looked like it was a test the Jazz would fail.
Quin Snyder was pressed into burning an early first quarter time out after Milwaukee extended their lead to 11-3 with about three minutes off the game clock. After that point the Bucks would score only 84 more points the rest of the way. (Math Break: The rate of 11 points in three minutes is larger than 84 points in 45 minutes.) Utah responded from the 11-3 Milwaukee opening salvo with a 33 to 16 run.
The battle of Giannis against Gordon Hayward was legit, and both guys were dunking all night long. The only difference was that Hayward’s jams seem to punctuate larger and larger leads. That was not the case for the Greek Freak. (I’m not a personal fan of that nickname, by the way.)
Utah did run away with this game, they were up by 9 points after one, up by 13 at half, up by 12 after three . . . and you always want to be up by over double digits going into the fourth quarter on the road. Milwaukee made it a 9 point game during some stretches, but the variety of performers tonight really helped to keep the injured Bucks at bay.
- Gordon Hayward finished with 29 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and three (four? MORE?) jams.
- Rudy Gobert added 15 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks and didn’t have to play many minutes tonight.
- George Hill had 19 points, going 4/4 from the line and 3/4 from deep. He also had 4 steals, a dime, and a board.
- Derrick Favors had a very strong game with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
- Off the bench Dante Exum had 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, hit a three, and went 5/5 from the free throw line.
Rodney Hood played in his first game back from injury, Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles made some shots, and Alec Burks did some stuff too. Boris Diaw played, making this a 10-Deep rotation tonight.
(We did not see Trey Lyles, or Shelvin Mack — maybe it’s match-ups or something else, but when healthy these are the 10 guys Snyder may lean on going forward.)
Excellent game, the team got to the line 30 times and missed just three. They didn’t kill it from three, but did shoot 50% overall. They had more rebounds, nearly 20 more points in the paint, and ended up turning the ball over fewer times than the Bucks. An overall ORTG of 120.7 is good. Really good. Duke Basketball like good.