Sports

Streaky shooting the story of Jazz-Bucks court battle

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and the rest of the team celebrate after Bogdanovic scored the game-winning basket in the final second of regulation play in the second half of an NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and the rest of the team celebrate after Bogdanovic scored the game-winning basket in the final second of regulation play in the second half of an NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. | Colter Peterson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — When you’ve playing in the Association for more than a decade, you will sometimes have periods of struggle. Just ask Jazz guard Mike Conley, who began the season with a 1 for 16 shooting performance in the regular season opener as the Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-95 on Oct. 23. And even though his shooting woes continued into the next few games, he never lost confidence in his ability to turn things around.

One week later, he turned in a 29-point game on 11 of 17 shooting from the floor as the Jazz trounced the Los Angeles Clippers 110-96 on Oct. 30. That’s life in the NBA. One week, you’re cold as ice, the next week you’re on fire. Well, Conley caught fire again Friday night as the Jazz topped the Milwaukee Bucks 103-100 at Vivint Arena. He poured in 19 points in the first half, missing just one of his eight field goal attempts — including 5 of 6 from downtown. His output paced the Jazz as the team cruised to a 55-35 halftime advantage over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Colter Peterson, Deseret News
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) tips the ball away from Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (10) on his shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.

To the contrary, reigning league most valuable player Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to just two first half points while missing all seven of his shot attempts. But that would change in a hurry. More on that later.

While Conley may have had the hot hand in the first two quarters for Utah, the second half belonged to Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who exploded for 13 points in the third period to help Utah maintain its lead throughout the period. But his contributions were upstaged by the otherworldly scoring blitz unleashed by the Greek Freak — the aforementioned Antetokounmpo.

Giannis was a man on a mission as he focused his attention on getting to the basket and subsequently the foul line over and over in the third quarter. When time expired for the period, Antetokounmpo had scorched Utah for 21 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field.

The ebbs and flows of the game were plainly apparent as various players took control of the scoring at different times. As it happened on this night, Bogdanovic would be the eventual hero, draining a 3-ball as time expired, giving the Jazz last-second 3-point victory over the feisty Bucks, who battled back to tie the game after trailing by 20 points at halftime.

“For me, I’m just surrounded …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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