Bobby Portis scored 22 points and had 14 rebounds as he replaced Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks were also without Khris Midton during Saturday’s 123-97 win over the Utah Jazz.
Antetokounmpo missed the game because of pain in his left knee. This is the fifth time he’s been absent this season. Middleton is experiencing soreness in the right knee.
Portis had 15 points in quarter one and ended the game with 17 double-doubles this season. He tied for third place in that category in the NBA.
Portis stated that he put in a lot of effort and now the game is slowing down. It’s exciting to watch my progress and it’s cool to have coaches and teammates that believe in me.
Jrue Holiday had 21 points, eight assists, and Brook Lopez scored 18 points and eight boards to help the Bucks rebound from Thursday’s 41-point defeat in Memphis.
Lopez stated that “We all were disappointed with our efforts, practically everything about the way we played on the last night.” We all believed we would show more effort if we came in.
MarJon Beauchamp, a rookie, added 18 points after 19 minutes. Sandro Mamukelashvili scored seven assists and grabbed eight rebounds within 23 minutes.
Mike Budenholzer, Bucks’ coach, said that Mamukelashvili (who is on a 2-way contract but played in Friday night’s G-League) had “a tremendous impact on the game without Giannis.” He was focused on his offensive glass and the ground that he was covering.
Milwaukee’s home record is now 14-3 and overall it is 21-8.
Beasley scored back-to-back 3-pointers for the Jazz in quarter 2, but Holiday answered with 10 points consecutively, including a pull-up triple, and a corner 3-pointer.
Budenholzer stated that “he caught a great rhythm” and it was crucial for us to have this. It felt as though Jrue was doing it in many different ways. He looked just like him.
In the last quarter, the Jazz was outscored 31-14 by the Bucks. The Bucks took control with an 13-0 run in the first quarter to establish a lead of 105-83.
Each of Lauri Markkanen and Beasley scored 18 points each for Utah. Jazz (17-15), were just coming off back to-back victories at home over New Orleans.
Coach Will Hardy of Utah said, “That wasn’t great.” It’s not as severe as you might think. We were both troubled by their physicality tonight. It was more so when we had to ball, than it was when they had the ball.
INGLES FOR RETURN
Joe Ingles, a veteran forward, will make his Milwaukee debut on Monday night as the Bucks take on New Orleans. Ingles is 6-foot-9 and signed in the offseason as a free agent. Ingles played eight seasons with Utah, but sustained a torn anteriorcruciate ligament last Jan. 30. Budenholzer stated that it is expected that Ingles will be available to play Monday. His passing probably stands out most. We will be greatly helped by his 3-point shooting.
Jazz: Five Utah starters have reached career-highs in assists. Hardy stated, “They are bought into playing together.” We talked about pass and play from the very beginning of training camp. These are the things that we value.”
After being sidelined by illness, Bucks’ Holiday and Serge Ibaka have returned to the team. Holiday missed the previous two games: a victory over Golden State, and a loss to Memphis.