NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 18th (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (18-9) at Milwaukee Bucks (10-14), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz hope to bounce back from one of their worst performances of the season tonight when they resume a four-game road trip against the Milwaukee Bucks in Brew City.
The Jazz were trounced in the opener of the trek on Friday in New Orleans when David West scored a game-high 23 points, as the Hornets easily handled Utah, 100-71.
Paul Millsap led the Jazz with 14 points, and both Deron Williams and Al Jefferson added 10 for Utah, which has alternated wins and loses in its last eight games.
Center Mehmet Okur played for the first time since rupturing his left Achilles' tendon in last season's playoffs but had just two points and one rebound in 10 minutes of action.
"They man-handled us the whole game," Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan said. "They beat us in every quarter. They played great, they pushed the ball up the floor, drove around us, dunked over us and everything else. We just didn't have any answers."
The Bucks, meanwhile, are coming off a heartbreaking loss in San Antonio when Manu Ginobili put the finishing touches on a 26-point night by hitting a 20- foot fadeaway at the buzzer to give the Spurs a thrilling 92-90 win over Milwaukee.
The Spurs had squandered an 18-point lead and things were deadlocked at 90 following a Drew Gooden follow-up of a Brandon Jennings miss with 49.7 seconds left.
Ginobili and Luc Mbah a Moute traded misses, and Gooden couldn't get another tip-in to fall on the latter attempt, giving the ball back to the Spurs with 9.5 seconds to go.
The inbounds went directly to Ginobili, who dribbled down the clock at the top of the key and made his way to the left wing. He got some separation from Mbah a Moute with a slight push-off and hit a dramatic off-balance fadeaway to end a perfect six-game homestand for the Spurs.
"I knew they were going to him. He likes to go left and I cut him off going that way. He stepped back and made the shot. I was right there," recalled Mbah a Moute.
Chris Douglas-Roberts and Gooden paced the Bucks with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Milwaukee had won three in a row coming in, including a huge comeback win over Dallas on Monday that snapped the Mavericks' 12-game win streak.
Jennings finished with 12 points and seven assists, Andrew Bogut had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Ersan Ilyasova added 13 points in defeat.
Utah, which will also visit Cleveland and Minnesota on its trek, has won 10 of its last 12 versus the Bucks, including a 109-88 triumph in Salt Lake City back on Nov. 29. Milwaukee, however, has won the last two games in the series at Bradley Center.
12/18 10:38:06 ET