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Analysis: Jazz finish road trip on a high note with win against Bucks

Jazz rebounded from a loss Saturday to beat Milwaukee, wrapping up their first extended road trip of the season

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Milwaukee Bucks guard Justin Robinson (55) and Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) reach for the ball.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Justin Robinson (55) and Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) reach for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Milwaukee.

Jeffrey Phelps, Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Utah Jazz rebounded from a loss on Saturday to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 107-95, on Sunday, wrapping up their first extended road trip of the season.

High Notes

  • The Jazz were coming off a disappointing loss Saturday night in Chicago, in a game they played without Mike Conley. But the Bucks were also on the second night of a back-to-back after a tough loss to the San Antonio Spurs. But, the Jazz had the benefit of facing a thin Bucks roster on Sunday night. To their credit, the Jazz never really played like they were facing a depleted Bucks team. They seemed sharp and forceful on both sides of the ball.
    “The biggest thing is that we competed on both ends of the floor. We did a lot of things that weren’t necessarily our schemes, but it was just hustle plays, extra effort.” — Donovan Mitchell
  • After a handful of slow starts from the 3-point line for the Jazz this season, they came out red hot against Milwaukee. They went 5 of 5 from beyond the arc to start the game before cooling off, but it was a good reminder that this Jazz team hasn’t lost its ability to knock down shots. They’re still the same team that was one of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in NBA history and they have the ability to absolutely heat up.
  • Donovan Mitchell seemed more calm throughout this game. He was reading the defense with more precision and picking his spots with more confidence. He finished with a game-high 28 points and got it done from every spot on the floor.
  • Jordan Clarkson hasn’t had the best scoring stretch of his career over the last couple of games, but even when it wasn’t working for him on the offensive end, he was completely engaged on defense and was directly responsible for some really big stops against the Bucks. 

  • I know that this doesn’t have to be said, but sometimes it’s worth just pointing out how good Rudy Gobert is. He’s so impactful and I think that anyone who watches the Jazz on a regular basis can become spoiled because Gobert’s impact is just expected night-in and night-out. But he’s such a special player and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for him to get some MVP buzz this season.
  • The defense as a whole on Sunday was a lot more focused and crisp for the Jazz. In particular Gobert, Hassan Whiteside and Royce O’Neale were huge in keeping the Bucks from really making a strong push at any point. Even when the Bucks went on short runs, the Jazz were able to get enough consecutive stops to nearly erase any of MIlwaukee’s progress.
  • It would probably be easy to look at Giannis’ Antetokounmpo’s stat line of 25 points on 50% shooting with seven rebounds and six assists and think that the Jazz didn’t do a good job defending him, and that would be the wrong assessment. The Jazz threw a lot of different looks at the former MVP and they made him work pretty hard.

Low Notes

  • For 99 consecutive games Clarkson had hit at least one 3-pointer, but that streak ended on Sunday. As I said above, he still made his imprint on the game and was able to get downhill and put pressure on the defense closer to the rim, but it’s disappointing when a streak ends, at least for everyone watching — not so much for Clarkson.
    “Just start another one.” — Jordan Clarkson
  • It’s probably a little bit of a bummer to bring this up again, but the Jazz were clearly more settled with Conley on the floor and it’s great how much stability he gives to this Jazz team. But the Jazz are going to need to figure out how to play without him. They’ll need to be effective on nights when he’s not in the game because there’s going to be quite a few of those this season.

Flat Notes

  • It would be really nice to look back on this game and think of it as a strong win against the reigning NBA champs, but unfortunately, the Bucks had so many of their regular rotational players out that you can’t put much weight on this win. The Bucks were playing without Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Robin Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood left Sunday’s game in the first half with a right hand contusion.