MILWAUKEE – One night after fighting the NBA’s best team down to the wire, the Utah Jazz learned a valuable lesson against the NBA’s worst team.
“We can’t show up and just expect to win games,” said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “We have to play a certain way. Last night, we played well and we played hard. If we play that way against everybody, we have a chance. But we can’t look at these guys’ record and think we can just show up and win the game.”
The Jazz fell three points short of upsetting Indiana Sunday but were blown out of the gym Monday by the Milwaukee Bucks, who shot 57 percent and made 8-of-13 3-pointers in a 114-88 rout of Utah at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
“It’s frustrating,” Corbin said. “It’s frustrating after the performance last night, the growth we showed last night. We just didn’t get it back tonight.”
Most frustrating for Corbin and the Jazz was Milwaukee forward Ersan Ilyasova, who snapped out of a season-long funk with 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Ilyasova got off to a good start, making all seven of his shots and scoring 18 points in the first half. Milwaukee (12-47) shot 52 percent in the first half and made 6-of-9 from distance to take a 55-48 lead at intermission.
“When a shooter makes shots, that basket looks a little bit bigger,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “We tried to really put him in a position where he had some good looks and a lot of our out-of-time-out plays were for him because he was shooting so well.”
The Bucks stayed red-hot in the third quarter, hitting 13-of-16 with two offensive rebounds and outscoring Utah 40-19 in the quarter to take a 28-point lead into the fourth.
“It was refreshing to see our guys come out to start the third quarter with some energy and some juice,” Drew said. “We had a big third quarter and I thought it all started with the first four minutes when we were able to execute offensively.”
Milwaukee center Zaza Pachulia went 8-for-8 from the free throw line and finished with 14 points, as did guard Ramon Sessions. Point guard Brandon Knight scored 11 and point guard Nate Wolters added 10 for the Bucks, who got assists on 28 of 42 baskets.
“When everybody’s touching the ball, we find a rhythm,” Ilyasova said. “This is the right way we have to play each game.”
The lone bright spot for Utah (21-39) was center Enes Kanter, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds off the bench to lead the Jazz.
“It doesn’t matter how many points I scored because it was a loss in the end,” Kanter said. “We just have to do a better job. Last night, we did a good job at Indiana. I know it’s back-to-back but there can’t be excuses. We just have to fight through it.”
Kanter spent much of his night matched up against Ilyasova, a fellow Turkish native.
“Something about those Turkish guys,” Kanter said. “He did a really good job. I’m proud of him, but he did it against us.”
Utah guard Gordon Hayward had 13 points in the first half and finished with 20, and guard Alec Burks added 12. But the Jazz shot 39.2 percent from the field and allowed 19 points off 14 turnovers while losing for the third straight game.
“We just lacked energy,” said Jazz guard Diante Garrett, a Milwaukee native playing in his hometown for the first time as a pro. “If we would have came out with a little more energy, like we did yesterday against the Pacers, I think we would have been OK but things happen.”
Milwaukee (12-47) snapped a two-game losing streak and defeated a Western Conference team for just the second time this season.
NOTES: The 26-point margin of victory was Milwaukee’s largest of the season and largest since beating Charlotte 131-102 on April 1 of last season. … Utah F Enes Kanter has 13 double-doubles this season. … Bucks F Jeff Adrien pulled down 11 rebounds in 20 minutes and now has at least 10 boards in four of his five appearances since joining the Bucks.
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