As the old adage goes, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. That’s about the most comforting advice I can give Bucks fans hoping to see a more competitive squad at this year’s iteration of the annual poor hooping summit where Milwaukee convenes a team. Today’s loss to the (winless) Utah Jazz, 97-76, felt like a smidge more salt in whatever wound might’ve lingered from the ugly scab against Sacramento, but there were a few moments of light we can take away. D.J. Wilson (8 points, 3 rebounds albeit on 3-10 shooting) showed the similar flashes of shifty playmaking, occasional shooting and shoddy decision making we’ve seen to this point, and Jalen Moore was knocking down buckets tonight (11 points, 3-4 from 3). Rashad Vaughn seemed relatively content just letting the non-roster folk handle this one, as he put up just 4 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists. Unfortunately, another Milwaukee trip to Vegas ends rather quickly, but at least the preseason is only a few months away.
D.J. Wilson started the game off with two straight buckets, nailing a pull-up from midrange and splashing an above the break three. Gary Payton II managed to hit a free throw line pull-up around midway through, as the Bucks remained bereft of quality looks and the Jazz led 15-11. Bronson Koenig finally knocked down his first shot after starting 0-4 to start, but the scrub-laden end to the period led to a 27-17 deficit.
Jalen Moore knocked in a three to start the second quarter, with Wilson zipping by his defender for a contested finish at the rim (a welcome sign for him). Wilson had an active quarter, grabbing a rare offensive rebound and subsequently getting fouled, but later passed up a wide open three in favor of a difficult step back midrange jumper. That, and a general disregard for putting the ball in the hoop led to Milwaukee trailing 56-39 despite a late scoring spurt from Payton and Travis Trice.
Rashad Vaughn slapped home a nifty transition finish at the rim over outstretched limbs to start the third, following that up with a similar layup in the halfcourt after a relatively quiet first half. Moore managed to knock home another triple later in the quarter, but another dud befell the Bucks with a depressing 76-58 deficit heading into the final stanza.
Milwaukee made it a 14-point game on a Reggie Upshaw three, but as was the case most of tonight, the Jazz answered with an easy basket again. The starters didn’t get a chance to return to the game at all, and the scrubs went softly into the night, leaving Milwaukee with a 97-76 loss as they exit Vegas with a 1-4 record.