Brent Asay Utah Jazz
The Roundup—Jazz 104, Bucks 88
The Jazz jumped all over the Bucks in the second quarter, taking an 18-point lead into halftime and then cruising to a 104-88 victory Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
Gordon Hayward led the way with 27 points, while Rudy Gobert scored 15 of his 26 points in the second quarter. Gobert added 15 rebounds and one block before fouling out with just over a minute left.
Joe Johnson scored 14 points and knocked down two 3-pointers off the bench for the Jazz (31-19).
Jabari Parker put on a show with a handful of high-flying dunks en route to a team-high 17 points for Milwaukee (21-27). All-Star guard/forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a season-low nine points on 2-for-10 shooting in the loss.
Hayward got things rolling with a strong first quarter—a 3-pointer, a layup and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, plus two assists that resulted in corner threes (by Rodney Hood and Alec Burks). He kept it going until the final horn, finishing with a game-high 27 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Utah's All-Star added four rebounds, five assists and three steals, while also playing tough defense on Antetokounmpo, who failed to score in double figures for the first time this season.
Gobert was on the bench for all but three minutes of the first quarter, but the Jazz took control once he re-entered the game in the second. Utah went on a 23-8 run that included a two dunks by Gobert (one off an alley-oop from Joe Johnson); threes by Johnson and Danté Exum; a two-handed jam (while being fouled) by Hayward; and a three-point play and then two free throws by Gobert that pushed Utah's lead to 14.
The Jazz got to the free-throw line early and often, and they shot a nifty 77.8 percent (21-for-27) as a team. On the defensive end, Utah didn't send Milwaukee to the line a ton, and when they did the Bucks didn't make their free throws. In the first three quarters, Milwaukee shot only 46.7 percent (7-for-15) from the line.
Hayward and Gobert not only led the Jazz in scoring, but they did so in highly efficient fashion, combining for 53 points on 17-for-26 (65.4 percent) shooting. Milwaukee's star duo of Parker and Antetokounmpo shot only 36.4 percent from the floor and didn't make a 3-pointer.
Hood hyperextended his right knee (the same one he injured two weeks ago) late in the first quarter and did not return to the game. ... Johnson passed Jazz legend John Stockton and now sits in 46th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. ... The Jazz scored 24 points off of Milwaukee's 17 turnovers. ... Hayward, Johnson and Joe Ingles eached finished with five assists for the Jazz. ... Antetokounmpo (second quarter) and George Hill (third quarter) sank 40-foot shots from the exact same spot on the floor—but each came just after the buzzer. ... 19-year-old rookie Thon Maker started at center for the Bucks and got bullied in the paint (on both ends of the floor) by Gobert, so in the fourth quarter he stepped outside and drained three straight 3-pointers. He shot far better from beyond the arc (3-for-4) than he did from the free-throw line (1-for-4).
The Jazz will stay at home to host the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT, and the game will be broadcast on ROOT SPORTS.