It’s an interconference battle on the hardwood as a pair of teams looking to make a late season push ahead of the postseason take the floor in the Beehive State. The Bucks are away from home tonight as they travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Jazz.
Latest news on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Lauri Markkanen
On the same night that Utah was defeated 127-115 by Portland at home, the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 130-94 win over the Spurs.
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the San Antonio Spurs by a lopsided margin, covering the largest point spread in the NBA this season.
On Thursday, the Bucks’ 52-20 record gave them a seven-game advantage over the Cavaliers in the Central Division. They were 2.5 games ahead of Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated the court for his team in his limited 24 minutes of action, finishing with 31 points (14-23 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-5 FT), 14 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block.
Antetokounmpo blew through the Spurs in his limited time on the court despite the lopsided score.
Nearly a double-double at the break (18 points, 9 rebounds), he finished the game as the game’s leading scorer and rebounder for both teams.
The All-Star center has scored 30 or more points in three of his last four games this month, and he has pulled down at least 10 boards in each of those games.
- Khris Middleton – Out vs. Jazz
Khris Middleton will not play on Friday against the Jazz due to a knee injury.
Despite being listed as questionable at the last minute, Middleton will sit out the opening game of the Bucks’ back-to-back.
Since Middleton won’t be able to play, Pat Connaughton will likely start for the team and see an increase in playing time. Saturday’s game against the Nuggets will be Middleton’s next opportunity to return to action.
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The Jazz had won two in a row and four of their previous five games before being swept by Portland on Wednesday night in Utah. The Jazz dropped to 35-37, 13.5 games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets in the Northwest Division.
They were 13.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for last place, 2 games behind the Golden State Warriors for the final guaranteed playoff spot, and 0.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final play-in tournament spot.
- Updates Lauri Markkanen’ injury status
Lauri Markkanen will be sidelined this Friday in the game against Milwaukee due to a hand injury.
Markkanen said after Wednesday’s 127-115 loss to the Trail Blazers that X-rays on his left hand were negative, as reported by Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Though he played well (40 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists in 33 minutes), his injury will keep him out of action for at least one more game.
Ochai Agbaji, Simone Fontecchio, and Talen Horton-Tucker may see more playing time against the Bucks while Lauri Markkanen’s return is in doubt.
Injury reports for Bucks and Jazz
For the Bucks
- Khris Middleton (Knee) – Out
- Goran Dragic (Knee) – Out
- Jae Crowder (Calf) – Out
- Meyers Leonard (Calf) – Out
For the Jazz
- Johnny Juzang (Hip) – Questionable
- Collin Sexton (Hamstring) – Out
- Lauri Markkanen (Hand) – Out
- Jordan Clarkson (Finger) – Out
- Rudy Gay (Back) – Out