Author: Nick Osen
MILWAUKEE- Coming off an All-Star weekend headlined by Giannis Antetokounmpo among others, the Greek Freak and the Bucks played host to the Utah Jazz Friday night in their first game since the break. Milwaukee went into All-Star weekend on a three game winning-streak, and looked to avenge its loss to Utah earlier this season, but would not be successful, falling 109-95.
It didn’t take long for Giannis to continue his scoring from the break, putting up the first five for the Bucks, including a nasty left-handed putback jam for his second bucket. Veteran swingman Michael Beasley was also hot for Milwaukee to start, scoring the next six for the home team, and forcing Quin Snyder to call an early timeout for the Jazz after trailing 11-3.
After the timeout, the Jazz came out fast with a 9-0 run in about two minutes, to take the lead 12-11. There was no stopping Utah All-Star snub Rudy Gobert early, as the Frenchman scored eight of the team’s first 18.
The smooth play of the Jazz didn’t stop there. With beautiful ball movement highlighted by multiple Gobert and Gordon Hayward slams, Utah went on a 33-16 run, to lead 36-27 after one.
Along with Gobert, the Bucks also could not stop Derrick Favors in the post, who scored 15 points in his first 12 minutes of play tonight. The Jazz stretched their lead to 13 at 46-33 early in the second quarter, which Coach Jason Kidd responded to with a timeout.
The second quarter was another tough one for the Bucks, who were outscored 23-19, as the Jazz led 59-46 at the intermission. Beasley led the home team with 16 points in the first half, while Favors scored 15, and Hayward put in 12, respectively.
With the Bucks down 14 at 71-57, The Greek Freak tried to take things over himself. Anteokounmpo scored eight of the next nine for the home team, including a monster slam to make it 75-66. After an and-one from Giannis, Gobert was also called for a technical foul in the quarter.
Hayward, the star for the Jazz, was not going to let Milwaukee back in it so fast, as the sharp shooter from Butler made a floater, and then absolutely soared for a slam to extend the lead back to 13, bringing nearly the whole Utah bench to their feet.
Heading into the final quarter, the Jazz led 87-75. The Bucks won the third by a point, as Giannis went off and had 26 points and 10 rebounds going into the fourth.
Like just about every other game this season, Antetokounmpo gave his all for Milwaukee, finishing with 33 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists, but to no avail. Utah’s star power of Hayward with 29 points, and Gobert with 15 points and 16 boards, as the Jazz held on for the victory, 109-95.