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Jazz holds 53-46 lead at half in game of swings

Recovering from a slow start, the Utah Jazz became a nearly unstoppable force to take a 53-46 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks at halftime.

The Jazz had six early shots blocked by Bucks center Brook Lopez before making adjustments and also taking advantage when Lopez went to the bench.

Trailing, 20-6, midway through the first period, the Jazz closed within 26-23 by the end of the first, then pushed out to a 52-39 lead in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the second period. All told, the Jazz outscored the Bucks, 46-19, in that span.

Khris Middleton leads the Bucks with 19 points, including three free throws with 11.7 seconds left to close the first-half scoring. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 14 minutes.

Donovan Mitchell leads Utah with 15 points.

The Bucks are playing without starting guards Eric Bledsoe (sore back) and Malcolm Brogdon (plantar fasciitis). They started a huge lineup by moving Antetokounmpo (6-11) and Middleton (6-8) to guard and putting Ersan Ilyaslova and Nikola Mirotic (both 6-10) in at forward with the 7-foot Lopez at center.

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