Larry Krystowiak pointed out Monday night that he has three-quarters of an outstanding basketball team.
It's the other quarter that has the first-year Milwaukee Bucks coach scratching his head.
The fourth quarter was the problem Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena in the Bucks' 98-87 loss that dropped them to 15-23.
It was their third quarter that proved costly in their previous game at Phoenix. One bad 12-minute stretch was the difference against the Lakers to start the road swing, too.
During the Bucks' current trip, Krystowiak says his team has played "nine really good quarters." Nine out of 12 may seem pretty good, but it has resulted in three straight losses.
"We shot ourselves in the foot in L.A. in one quarter. In Phoenix, it was the third quarter, and tonight it was the fourth quarter,' said Krystowiak.
With a pair of players with Utah ties leading the way, the Bucks entered the fourth quarter with a 72-71 lead over the Jazz. Milwaukee was shooting 57.1 percent as a team.
But it was a different story in the fourth. Milwaukee was just 2-for-18 from the field a frosty 11.1 percent in the final 12 minutes. They were outscored by a dozen points as Utah pulled away for a comfortable victory.
"We turned the ball over, missed open jump shots. We had some open looks, I thought, but we didn't make shots," said Krystowiak.
The Bucks were also a bit upset about all the open shots the Jazz had from 15-feet away at the foul line. Utah shot 43 free throws for the game to just 18 for Milwaukee. Utah point guard Deron Williams had more free throws than the entire Milwaukee team.
"We had a heckuva time keeping them off the free throw line," said Krystowiak.
Some of the Bucks' players put it a different way.
"We couldn't really get a call in the first half," said ex-Ute star center Andrew Bogut, who led Milwaukee with 23 points and 10 rebounds. "They shot 25 more free throws than us. We're not going to win many games when a team shoots that many more free throws than you."
Bogut scored 21 of his team-high 23 points in the first three quarters, but he took only one shot a made dunk in the fourth.
Former Jazz point guard Mo Williams finished with 21 points and six assists, but he struggled down the stretch, making only 1-of-6 shots in the fourth quarter. Michael Redd, the Bucks' leading scorer on the season, missed all five of his shots in the fourth.
"We got some looks, but we just didn't knock them down," said Mo Williams.
Williams, a second-round draft pick for the Jazz in 2003, spent one season as a backup in Utah before signing a lucrative free agent deal with Milwaukee. He still has fond memories of his time with the Jazz, though. Just prior to tip-off, he ran over to the Utah bench to shake the hand of Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.
"I love him," said Williams when asked about Sloan. "My time here was great and I learned basically how to play the game while I was here. I love him."
For his part, Bogut is looking forward to the rematch when the Jazz travel to Milwaukee for a game in March.
"I'd like to see this game played again at our place," said the 7-foot Aussie. "It might be a bit different."Especially if the Bucks play well for four quarters instead of three.
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