Bucks beat Jazz without stars Antetokounmpo, Middleton

Dec 17, 2022, 6:25 AM | Updated: 8:29 pm

Milwaukee Bucks' MarJon Beauchamp reacts after making a three pointer during the second half of an ...

Milwaukee Bucks' MarJon Beauchamp reacts after making a three pointer during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 123-97. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bobby Portis had 22 points and 14 rebounds starting in place of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks also played without Khris Middleton in a 123-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Antetokounmpo sat out because of soreness in his left knee, the fifth game he has missed this season. Middleton has soreness in his right knee.

Portis scored 15 points in the first quarter and finished with his 17th double-double this season, tying him for third in the NBA in that category.

“I put a lot of work in and the game is starting to slow down for me,” Portis said. “It’s fun to see my development and cool to have teammates and coaches that trust me, for sure.”

Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists and center Brook Lopez had 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Bucks bounce back from a 41-point loss in Memphis on Thursday night.

“We were all disappointed in our effort, virtually everything with the way we played the other night,” Lopez said. “I think we all felt we were going to come in and show a much better effort.”

Rookie MarJon Beauchamp added 18 points in 19 minutes off the bench and Sandro Mamukelashvili had seven assists and eight rebounds in 23 minutes.

“Without Giannis playing tonight, I thought he had a huge impact on the game,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said about Mamukelashvili, who is on a two-way contract and played in the G-League on Friday night. “Just his effort on the offensive glass, the ground he was covering, he was just going and getting it.”

Milwaukee improved to 14-3 at home and 21-8 overall.

The Jazz was able to tie the game at 42-42 when Beasley hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter, but Holiday responded with 10 consecutive points, capped by a pull-up triple and a 3-pointer from the corner.

“He caught a great rhythm and we needed it,” Budenholzer said. “It felt like Jrue did it a lot of different ways and looked like himself.”

The Bucks outscored the Jazz, 31-14, in the final quarter and took command with a 13-0 run to open the quarter to take a 105-83 lead.

Beasley and Lauri Markkanen each had 18 points for Utah. The Jazz (17-15) were coming off back-to-back home victories over New Orleans.

“That wasn’t great,” Utah coach Will Hardy said. “It’s never as bad as it feels sometimes. Their physicality bothered us tonight, moreso when we had the ball than when they had the ball.”


Veteran forward Joe Ingles is scheduled to make his Milwaukee debut Monday night when the Bucks play at New Orleans. The 6-foot-9 Ingles, signed as a free agent in the offseason, played eight seasons for Utah but suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 30 last season. “The expectation is that he will play on Monday,” Budenholzer said. “His passing is probably the thing that stands out the most. His 3-point shooting is going to be really helpful for us.”


Jazz: All five Utah starters are averaging career highs in assists. “They’re bought into playing as a group,” Hardy said. “We talked from the beginning of training camp about play hard and pass. Those are the two things we care about.”

Bucks: Holiday and Serge Ibaka returned after being sidelined with illness. Holiday had missed the last two games, a win over Golden State and a lopsided loss in Memphis.


Jazz: At Cleveland on Monday night.

Bucks: At New Orleans on Monday night.


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Bucks beat Jazz without stars Antetokounmpo, Middleton