MILWAUKEE — As Tony Bradley stood surrounded by a horde of media members, Jeff Green walked by and gave the young Utah Jazz center a fist bump.
Moments later, Donovan Mitchell walked the same route and shouted, “Way to play” toward Bradley.
And Mitchell wasn’t done with the compliments.
The Jazz’s depth has been scrutinized this season. Joe Ingles hasn’t looked his old self, Jeff Green has moments of defensive lapses, Emmanuel Mudiay takes too many ill-advised shots.
On Monday, though, it was Bradley, Ingles, Green, Mudiay and Georges Niang that helped keep the Jazz in the game in their 122-118 loss to the Bucks.
“You gotta give credit to Emmanuel, George, Tony,” Mitchell said. “Those three guys, in particular, coming and being ready. I think without those three, in particular, it's a different game.”
It was the second unit that went on a 10-0 run near the start of the second quarter. It was Mudiay that scored eight points in the fourth quarter — all part of an 11-2 run that tied the game with 6:38 left. It was Ingles, Green and Niang that combined to go 9 of 18 from 3.
On a night where Utah was without Rudy Gobert and was battling a Giannis Antetokounmpo playing in rare form (even for him), those contributions were needed to keep things close.
“Jeff came in and gave us a lift,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “Obviously Emmanuel, Georges. Joe had a terrific game — that was good to see him making plays, being aggressive, shooting the ball. There was a lot of things for us to build on.”
Green, who is shooting 26.5% from downtown, had 11 points and was 3 of 5 from 3-point range.
Ingles, who is averaging just 6.4 points this season, had 15 points with five assists and hit three 3-pointers. He was 5 of 10 from the field (3 of 7 from 3). It was just the third time this season Ingles has had double-digit shot attempts.
Niang finished with a season-high 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including a strong drive to the basket in transition, and had a team-high plus-12 in the game.
“Georges being able to push and transition, being decisive shooting the ball and then Tony stepping up big time,” Mitchell said. “He's a heckuva player, man, and I'm really proud of those three because they really kept us in it for sure.”
An injury to Ed Davis pushed Bradley into the rotation for the first time in his NBA career. An injury to Rudy Gobert pushed him into the starting lineup. After a strong game on Saturday in a win over the Pelicans, Bradley was effective again. He finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
“Tony competed his tail off,” Snyder said. “Gave us really good minutes. Played with a lot of composure building from his last game.”
And the Jazz are now hoping that the building continues. For Bradley, Mudiay and the rest.