By JOHN COON
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Grayson Allen scored a season-high 25 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 144-116 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
Allen made five 3-pointers and shot 57% from the field to help the Bucks lead wire-to-wire. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 11 assists, and Pat Connaughton scored 22 points while making six 3-pointers. Jrue Holiday added 18 points and seven assists, and Brook Lopez had 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks.
Milwaukee made 22 3-pointers and shot 56% from the field to fuel its third straight victory. The Bucks finished with 42 assists on 55 baskets.
“I just thought it was an incredible all-around offensive game from everyone,” Allen said.
Simone Fontecchio scored a career-high 26 points in his third career start to lead the Jazz. Kelly Olynyk had 16 points and seven rebounds. Talen Horton-Tucker added 13 points and eight assists as Utah dropped its second in a row at home.
The Jazz shot just 38.5% from the field.
“They shot the ball at an unbelievable clip for the first 3 1/2 quarters,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “It felt like we could not throw the ball in the ocean.”
Milwaukee made eight 3-pointers and shot 50% from the perimeter during the first quarter. Allen set the pace by going 4 of 4 from the perimeter. He scored Milwaukee’s first four baskets and his final outside basket in the quarter gave the Bucks a 19-4 lead.
On the other end, Lopez had three blocks in less than two minutes.
“I think the focus you want to come out with, the purpose you want to come out with — Grayson and Brooke did that for us,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Jazz cut the deficit to 22-17 on a 3-pointer from Johnny Juzang before Milwaukee ran away from Utah again before the first quarter ended. Jevon Carter scored three baskets over four possessions to fuel a 16-4 run that extended the Bucks’ lead to 38-21.
“We wanted to force them to get the looks that we want,” Horton-Tucker said. “But when they’re hitting them, it is hard to kind of regroup.
Utah trimmed the deficit to single digits again in the second quarter, cutting Milwaukee’s lead to 54-48 on back-to-back baskets from Olynyk and Walker Kessler. The Bucks countered with a 16-2 run punctuated by three straight baskets by Antetokounmpo to extend their lead again to 70-50.
Milwaukee led by double-digits the entire second half.
“We’ve always been a defense-first team,” Lopez said. “That’s where everything generates from us. Tonight was an example of that right from the get-go.”
TIP-INS Bucks: Allen averaged just 6.0 points and scored seven total baskets in his previous three games before facing Utah. … Lopez has blocked five or more shots in three of his last seven games.
Jazz: Lauri Markkanen (left hand contusion) was inactive for the second time in three games. … Utah outscored Milwaukee 24-12 in second-chance points.
Bucks: at Denver on Saturday.
Jazz: at Sacramento on Saturday.
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