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Jazz 98, Bucks 87: Recap

In Phoenix the Bucks were done in by mailing in the third quarter, but in Salt Lake City it was the fourth that derailed Milwaukee, as the Jazz used a 27-15 final period to roll to a 98-87 win.

Three Bucks

  • Andrew Bogut. Coming off his 29/11 night on Saturday in Phoenix, Bogut was again the Bucks' best player, scoring 23 on 9/12 fgs along with 10 rebounds. He again effectively used ambidextrous hook shots and a couple of those lefty drives to keep the Bucks in it through three. So of course he was a non-factor in the fourth, getting just one trip to the line before his meaningless dunk in the final minute. While Carlos Boozer had a nice night with 21/10 on 9/15 fg, Bogut used his size to outmuscle the Jazz's all-star PF much of the night.
  • Mo Williams. Mo finished with 21 points and six assists, but it looks like his scoring role in Redd's absence may be going to his head a little. He finished 9/22 from the field, but if Redd is back in the lineup he'll need to chuck more selectively.
  • Michael Redd. Redd finished with 16/5, but by my count missed his last five shots to finish 4/10. It seems like he's been missing his fourth quarter mojo all year long.

Three Numbers

  • 21. As in the Bucks' turnovers, which killed them all night. The Jazz were also wasteful with 18 turnovers of their own, but the Bucks weren't able to run off them nearly as effectively.
  • 7:25. The number of fourth quarter minutes it took the Bucks to get their first field goal, a Mo Williams triple with 4:35 left that ended a string of nine straight missed field goals. The Jazz didn't exactly put the hammer down in the fourth, but the Bucks made it easy on them by managing only four Redd free throws before finally connecting on a shot. Lots of jump shots, nothing through Bogut; it's like the first three quarters didn't happen. The Jazz's 13-4 run gave them an eight point lead that the Bucks couldn't recover from.
  • 20. Twenty free throw attempts (16 converted) by Deron Williams helped contribute to a 33-point, 10-assist night from the Jazz's star point. Late in the game the Bucks couldn't stop the Jazz and Williams without fouling, never a good recipe for a comeback.

Three Good

  • Bogut's homecoming. Bogut has typically struggled in Utah, but he continued his run of good games with another big outing. The Bucks played pretty respectably on their Western swing despite their 0-3 record, and that starts with Bogut. Any hope of the Bucks' clawing into the playoffs will rest on Bogut's ability to continue his post dependability.
  • The bench in the first half. As soon as I saw Ruffin and Gadzuric playing together in the second quarter I expected the Jazz to open up a lead, but Charlie Bell's hot shooting allowed the Bucks' scrubs to play a lot--10 players got at least five minutes in the half--without getting totally torched. Unfortunately that luck didn't stretch into the second half, as the bench went scoreless in the third and fourth quarters.
  • Yi's block party. Sorry, this last one's a stretch. Yi again had trouble finding his way offensively (2/8 fg, 6 points) but he did block a career-high four shots. And even with his weak offensive displays of late he seems to be in better shape than Charlie Villanueva, who got only eight minutes tonight. Wait, was this supposed to be one of my "good" bullets?

Three Bad

  • The fourth quarter. Leading by one heading into the fourth, the Bucks stunk it up in the fourth, scoring four points in the first seven minutes as the Jazz pushed to a double-digit lead. The Jazz outscored them 27-15 and that was all she wrote, as the Bucks finished a pathetic 2/18 from the field in the quarter.
  • Fouls. The Bucks simply couldn't defend without fouling, with four of the Bucks' starters racking up five fouls and Gadzuric adding a Dutchman-like four in 10 minutes. The Jazz finished 30/43 from the line compared to the Bucks' 14/18.
  • Larry Krsytkowiak. I normally don't like to throw everything in the coach's lap, but the team's rotations and strategy in the fourth were pretty baffling. Sorry, but I couldn't care less about the energy they bring, but Ruffin and Gadzuric (four fouls, three TOs in 10 minute) shouldn't be playing fourth quarter minutes together. And the fact that Bogut got zero field goal attempts in the quarter until a dunk in the waning seconds is tough to explain.