|FreePlays.com Home » Preview: Utah at Milwaukee, March 4th, 2013|
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams with playoff aspirations clash Monday in Milwaukee with the Bucks set to host the Utah Jazz at the Bradley Center.
The Bucks are currently eighth in the Eastern Conference standings -- 6 1/2 games in front of Philadelphia -- and have won three in a row on the heels of a three-game losing streak. The Bucks squeezed out a 122-114 overtime triumph versus the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Ersan Ilyasova paced Milwaukee with 29 points and 11 rebounds‚ Monta Ellis added 23 points and Brandon Jennings ended with 11 points and a career-high 19 assists for the Bucks‚ who shot 50 percent for the game and received 13 points‚ 12 boards and five blocks from Larry Sanders.
Milwaukee overcame a weak fourth quarter (30-22) to outscore the Raptors by an 18-10 margin in the extra session.
"It just shows our character and how we continue to play hard and come up with wins‚" Ellis said.
Sanders has scored 10 or more points in eight straight games played‚ averaging 12.9 ppg in that time‚ and owns five double-doubles in that span. He has also swatted at least one shot in 39 straight games and leads the NBA with 3.18 rejections per game this season.
The Bucks‚ who are 15-14 at home‚ will start a three-game western trip later this week against the Clippers‚ Warriors and Kings.
Utah halted a three-game losing streak with Friday's 98-68 blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats. Enes Kanter posted career-highs of 23 points and 22 rebounds‚ while DeMarre Carroll also set a career-high with 19 points.
"I wasn't expecting a 20-20 game. It was my second time in the starting five‚" Kanter said. "The first time‚ Al (Jefferson) helped me a lot. He just said if you're starting games to go out and be yourself and I did."
Jefferson and Paul Millsap are both game-time decisions for Monday because of sprained ankles. Kanter and Derrick Favors have been seeing more time since Utah's top two big men have been nursing identical injuries.
Gordon Hayward added 14 points and Favors finished with eight points and seven rebounds in the win for the Jazz‚ who will begin a four-game road trip Monday against Milwaukee‚ Cleveland‚ Chicago and New York. Randy Foye had nine points versus Charlotte and set a franchise record for most 3-point field goals in a season with 130.
The Jazz‚ who are seventh in the West‚ haven't been as dominant on the road (10-19) as they are in Salt Lake City (22-8).
Utah faced Milwaukee in early February and recorded a 100-86 home win. It has won four straight and 13 of the last 15 matchups with the Bucks. The two teams have split the past eight meetings in Brew City.