Milwaukee notched its third win in seven tries with a 114-88 victory over Utah on Monday.
Needless to say, it’s been a rough season for the 12-47 Bucks. It’s been especially rough for Ersan Ilyasova, one of the team’s lone valuable veterans who’s proven to be a key contributor for playoff-bound teams in the past.
Entering Monday, the 26-year-old was shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from three – this after hitting 46.2 and 44.4 percent of his attempts, respectively, last season.
THROW THOSE NUMBERS OUT THE DOOR.
Ilyasova led Milwaukee with 31 points Monday, hitting 13-of-14 shots while adding five rebounds, two steals and a block in 30 minutes. It was easily the best performance of the season for Ilyasova, who reached the 30-point plateau for the first time.
With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in attendance, Milwaukee jumped out to a 30-21 first quarter advantage. Charlotte trimmed the lead to one point with just over two minutes remaining in the second quarter, but a pair of Ilyasova free throws and a Brandon Knight and-one as time expired gave Milwaukee a seven-point halftime lead.
Milwaukee opened the second half with an 8-0 run, building a 15-point lead that would be stretched to 19 with 6:56 remaining in the third. The Bucks led 95-67 heading into the fourth, eventually cruising to the 114-88 victory. It’s the third win in seven games for Milwaukee, the only NBA team yet to log consecutive victories.
Larry Drew continued to utilize a deep rotation with nine player seeing at least 20 minutes, and only one (Ilyasova) playing more than 27. Ramon Sessions and Zaza Pachulia both scored 14 points, while Nate Wolters added 10 with five assists and six rebounds in 22 minutes. Jeff Adrien came off the bench to lead Milwaukee with 11 rebounds, and Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in eight points, three assists and one rebound.
Utah, which dropped its third straight game, was led by a career-high 27 points from Enes Kanter. Kanter added 14 rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench. Starting center Derrick Favors scored two points in just 19 minutes. Gordan Hayward added 20 points, and Alec Burks was held to 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in town to promote a commercial for Wisconsin tourism, was sitting courtside. Check out the video of the Airplane-based commercial here.
- John Henson played just 16 minutes, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds. Even with Larry Sanders out of the lineup, Henson hasn’t played more than 26 minutes since Feb. 18 against the Magic.
- We saw two games of Good O.J. Mayo at the end of February, but Bad O.J. Mayo seems to have taken back over since the calendar turned to March. Mayo had just three points on 1-of-5 shooting in 24 minutes.
- Milwaukee shot 56.8 percent from the field (42-of-74), 61.5 percent from three (8-of-13) and 84.6 percent from the free throw line (22-of-26).
Points: Ilyasova (31), Kanter (27)
Rebounds: Adiren (11), Kanter (14)
Assists: Three tied (5), Burke (5)
Blocks: Four tied (1), Gobert (4)
Tags: Milwaukee Bucks