MILWAUKEE, Wi. — The Bucks came into the fourth game of their five game homestand playing some of their best ball of the year thus far. After three consecutive victories, the Utah Jazz were next up. Giannis Antetokounmpo came into tonight’s matchup having led the team in points scored each of the previous four contests for Milwaukee. That trend continued tonight, as he registered yet another 30 point performance, but it was Utah’s All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell’s 32 that slowed down the streaking Bucks’.
Milwaukee’s Bench Struggles
The Bucks came into the night holding the NBA’s sixth most potent bench attack. At 42.5 PPG, the two stars Giannis and Khris Middelton have been able to count on a solid bench output night to night this year. That was not the case on Friday night against the Jazz. In fact, the bench seemingly disappeared completely tonight, as they contributed a season low twelve points amongst the six bench players who registered minutes.
Bucks Stall in the Fourth Quarter
Trailing by just eight points entering the fourth quarter, Milwaukee seemed to be in great shape to make a run. Instead, the Bucks came out flat. Utah guard Jordan Clarkson came out and hit a three right out of the gate. Two straight buckets by Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, coupled with the Bucks going scoreless to this point, and with 8:10 remaining in the game, the Jazz had blown the contest wide open to a 15 point lead.
It was not until Antetokounmpo’s nasty poster dunk on Jazz center Rudy Gobert with 6:47 left in the fourth that Milwaukee finally scored in the quarter. Unfortunately, the damage was already done by then as the lead had ballooned to 18. Adding to the fourth quarter woes, was the Bucks shot just 1-9 from the three in the fourth.
Mitchell, Clarkson Lead the Charge
The Jazz came into tonight having lost their previous two games. At a 4-4 record, they left it up to Donovan Mitchell to propel the team to 5-4. Coming in averaging north of 21 PPG and five assists, Mitchell upped his game and went for a team-high 32. The one-time All-Star scored 20 of his 32 points in the second half, and Milwaukee struggled to find the answer all night.
Leave it to Jordan Clarkson to save his best game for when he plays the Bucks’. Averaging 15.5 PPG entering tonight, Clarkson was the second option that the Jazz needed, and scored a season high 26 points. Clarkson hit five, of what would end up being an impressive 25 total three pointers made for Utah. A 36 point differential from downtown is going to be too tough to overcome for any team.
Positive Takeaways for the Deer
Despite the loss, Buck’s fans can take pleasure in a few positives from tonight’s game. For starters, anytime Giannis hits multiple three pointers in a game, its a sight for sore eyes. As far as the lack of bench production, every team even the great ones have off nights. Going from 42.5 PPG to just 12 against the Jazz is surely an anomaly, and Utah is always stout defensively.
Lastly, off-season pick-up Jrue Holiday continues to be a consistent scorer for the Bucks. Putting up 17 points tonight, on a night where Eric Bledsoe had another single digit scoring game Jrue continues to prove the front office right. Now averaging 16 PPG and 5 APG, Holiday has also been an upgrade defensively.
The Bucks will look to bounce back with a win when they play the Cleveland Cavaliers to end their homestand. Catch the game Saturday @ 7:00 p.m. CT!