NBA Game Summary - Milwaukee at Utah
(Saturday, March 26th)
Final Score: Utah 94, Milwaukee 89
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Raja Bell netted a season-high 23 points as Utah earned a 94-89 victory over Milwaukee at the Delta Center.
Rookie Kris Humphries added a career-best 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Jazz, who have won two of three following a recent nine-game slide. Gordan Giricek contributed 13 off the bench in the triumph.
"We had a lot of energy defensively," Bell remarked. "We were right on top of them most of the night,"
Maurice Williams tallied 19 points and Desmond Mason had 16 for the Bucks, who went winless on their five-game West Coast road swing. Milwaukee, which has dropped nine in a row overall on the road, received 14 points from Michael Redd in defeat.
Utah trailed 71-70 after three quarters but tore off 11 straight points to begin the final period. Mehmet Okur recorded six points during the run, which ended with Howard Eisley's jumper with just over five minutes left that staked the hosts to a 10-point cushion.
"That really was a dagger for us," said Redd. "We couldn't score. Give (Utah) credit -- they made plays and shots in the fourth quarter and pushed the lead up."
Milwaukee rallied down the stretch and closed to within 89-85 on Mason's tip- in with 34 seconds remaining. After the Jazz's Keith McLeod could hit just 1- of-2 from the line, Joe Smith was fouled and sank both attempts to make it a three-point game with 19 seconds to go.
McLeod again only managed 1-of-2 afterward, and Smith's layup with 11 seconds to go brought the Bucks within 91-89. Bell then went to the stripe and hit the first but missed the second, keeping Milwaukee's hopes alive.
However, Redd misfired on a three-pointer and Matt Harpring made two foul shots to preserve the win.
The Jazz were down 47-41 at the half but regained the lead midway through the third quarter when Bell threw down a dunk to snap a 55-55 tie. A 7-3 run capped by consecutive layups by Marcus Fizer put Milwaukee 71-66 late in the period, but Utah made four free throws in the waning seconds to cut its deficit to one.
The Bucks built a 45-36 advantage after Williams' three-pointer with 1:46 remaining in the first half. The Jazz pulled to within 47-41 at the break on two free throws by Bell with nine seconds on the clock.
Utah led 27-20 early in the second quarter, but Toni Kukoc drained two three- pointers during a 10-0 surge which sent Milwaukee in front.
The Bucks fell to 7-29 on the road and lost for the third straight time in Salt Lake City...Utah is 2-1 on its current seven-game homestand...Milwaukee dropped to 6-22 against Western Conference teams...Bell's previous season-best of 22 points was set February 14 at Phoenix.
03/27 00:34:27 ET