3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ exhilarating win over Utah Jazz

Mar 14, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jevon Carter, Utah Jazz: Jordan Clarkson
Mar 14, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports /

Following a grueling loss to the Golden State Warriors Saturday night, the Milwaukee Bucks were set to stay in the Western Conference with a clash against the Utah Jazz on Monday. Getting back in the win column would prove challenging for the Bucks, given that they lost 19 straight games in Utah dating back to October of 2001 entering last night. While the odds were stacked against the defending champs, they would not let that stop them from trying to flip the script.

With each team building up a double-digit lead at one point along with 12 lead changes, this was a thrilling game from start to finish. After a chaotic 48 minutes of back-and-forth action, Milwaukee came out on top with a 117-111 victory over Utah, snapping their losing streak as the road team in this matchup. It felt good to finally see the Bucks walk off the floor victorious against the Jazz in a matchup they have been dominated in throughout recent history, and here are three takeaways that helped them reach that point.

The Milwaukee Bucks received solid contributions from two quality reserves in Wesley Matthews and Jevon Carter

In a game where Milwaukee’s bench tallied just 19 points, there were not too many eye-catching scoring performances against Utah. However, two players that made themselves felt particularly on the defensive end were Jevon Carter and Wesley Matthews.

Carter was tasked with guarding Utah’s Jordan Clarkson, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year winner that has been known to heat up against Milwaukee in the past. Thankfully, that was not the case this time around, and that was partially due to Carter’s defense. According to NBA.com, Clarkson went scoreless on 0-of-3 shooting when matched up against Carter on 10.8 partial possessions. The guard’s robust defense helped keep him on the floor in the fourth quarter, where he played a key role in seven and a half minutes, where he eventually hit the game-sealing free throws.

Like Carter, Matthews also made a sizeable impact defensively when matching up against Utah’s scoring guards. When defended by Matthews, Donovan Mitchell shot just 4-of-9 from the field with a turnover, Jordan Clarkson shot 1-of-5 with a turnover, and Royce O’Neale also shot 1-of-5. Defense like that is why the Bucks brought Matthews in, but the biggest question mark lately has revolved around his production offensively. He was solid last night by shooting 2-of-3 from behind the arc, the first time since January 13 that Matthews hit multiple 3-pointers in the same game. If Matthews can continue to play this outstanding defense while also knocking down his triples with regularity, he could be an X-factor for this team, as evidenced by last night’s game.

Though they did not put up the flashiest numbers, Carter and Matthews were both stellar against the Jazz due to their defense.