Donovan Mitchell couldn’t miss in the last nine minutes, and his career-high 46 points rallied the Utah Jazz to a 115-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night in Salt Lake City.
Mitchell scored 19 of his points in the last 8:11, as the Jazz overcame a 17-point deficit in the last 9:20.
The Bucks (48-15) had a seven-game winning streak snapped despite a 43-point, 14-rebound, eight-assist effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks also had a 10-game road winning streak snapped.
The Bucks played without starting guards Eric Bledsoe (sore back) and Malcolm Brogdon (plantar fasciitis) and started a hug lineup that featured four players 6-10 or taller. That huge lineup of Antetokounmpo (6-11), Brook Lopez (7-0), Nikola Mirotic (6-10), Ersan Ilyasova (6-10) and Khris Middleton (6-8) did major damage, starting the first and third quarters with matching 20-6 runs.
Because of those runs, the Bucks took a 78-73 lead into the fourth period, and looked ready to seal the game with a 12-0 run in the opening 2:21 of the fourth.
Pat Connaughton’s layup made it 90-73 with 9:39 left, and the Bucks were in great shape.
But seemingly looking for a knockout blow from behind the arc, the Bucks instead went cold. Over the next 3 1/2 minutes the Bucks missed four 3-pointers, and the Jazz got in tune.
Joe Ingles made a jumper, Derrick Favors made a short jummper and Mitchell drained a three. Suddenly, the Jazz was within 90-80. Another Mitchell dunk made it a 10-0 run before Ilyasova snapped the run, but the Jazz scored the next seven to suddenly make it a 92-90 game with on Favors’ dunk with 5:39 left.
Favors had a massive night with 29 points (10-of-12 shooting) and 18 rebounds.
Mitchell tied it at 95 and 97 before Antetokounmpo drilled a 3-pointer, but Favors scored off an offensive rebound and Jae Crowder made a shot from the corner to give the Jazz a 101-100 lead.
The killing blows came from Mitchell, a pair of deep 3-pointers. The first, with 1:29 left, made it 106-102. The second, with 43.7 seconds left, made it 111-105.
Middleton’s 3-pointer immediately after a timeout made things interesting, and when Mitchell missed two free throws with 12.7 left, the Bucks had one last chance, trailing 113-110. But Favors intentionally fouled Antetokounmpo to prevent the Bucks from getting a tying 3-point shot off, and when Antetokounmpo missed the first free throw the Bucks were done.
Middleton finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and Brook Lopez added 16 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks, but they were the only three in double figures.
Mirotic made just 1 of 7 shots for three points, and Ilyasova went 2 for 8 for five points, With those two playing as starters, the Bucks’ bench never found a rhythm, going 5 for 23.
The Bucks also played without backup point guard George Hill (groin) and backup forward Sterling Brown (wrist). Rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo missed his 27th straight game.