Bucks vs. Jazz preview
The last time the Milwaukee Bucks won in Salt Lake City, former Utah Jazz center Greg Foster was on their roster.
Foster is now an assistant for coach Jason Kidd’s Bucks, who will be looking to end their 12-game road losing streak against the Jazz on Saturday night.
Milwaukee (32-26) has dropped 22 of its last 25 games in Utah and is winless there since a 119-112 overtime victory in the 2001-02 opener for both clubs. Foster, a member of the Jazz’s back-to-back Western Conference championship teams from 1997-98, was in his lone season with the Bucks at that time.
The Bucks began a four-game West trip with Friday’s 101-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. They took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter before allowing 36 points over the final 12 minutes.
"Thirty-six points giving them in the fourth quarter, that’s where we lost the game," center Zaza Pachulia said. "Yeah, you can say offensively the shots were not falling down for us, but the thing we’ve controlled most of the year is defense."
Michael Carter-Williams scored eight points in his second game for Milwaukee as the starting point guard.
Last season’s rookie of the year returns to the site of one of his worst efforts in an 88-71 loss Dec. 27, with Philadelphia. Carter-Williams missed a career-high 18 shots and made only two as he finished with eight points, six assists and six turnovers.
He is third-worst in the NBA with 4.2 turnovers per contest while the Jazz (22-35) feature another player with that issue in leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who averages 2.8 and has 13 over last two games.
The Jazz routed Denver 104-82 on the road Friday after losing at home to the Lakers 100-97 two nights earlier.
"We were frustrated and disappointed, especially because the way we can play, the way we know we can play," said Hayward, who had 15 points Friday. "Like we did tonight."
Derrick Favors had 21 points and 10 rebounds as Utah led by as many as 29 and held a 50-36 edge in points in the paint.
These teams have been playing well defensively. Milwaukee is limiting opponents to 41.8 percent since Jan. 24 for the NBA’s third-best mark while Utah is fourth-best in that span at 41.9.
"Our team has come to understand what we’ve wanted. It’s not easy to play defense," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "It takes work, it takes effort and it takes a collective mindset."
These teams look different than they did Jan. 22, when Utah won 101-99 at Milwaukee. Enes Kanter was a major factor with 23 points and 16 boards for the Jazz while Brandon Knight scored 16 for the Bucks. Both were traded Feb. 19, with Kanter joining Oklahoma City and Knight going to Phoenix.
The Jazz are third in the NBA in rebound margin at plus-3.9. Center Rudy Gobert has 36 boards and 12 blocks in his last three games.
Bucks guard O.J. Mayo could miss his third straight game due to right hamstring soreness.
Milwaukee is 6-9 in the second half of back-to-backs and Utah is 6-7.