The Jazz chose to start two centers against a Bucks team with small forward Ersan Ilyasova at the power-forward position, and the strategy paid off early, with Utah jumping out to a 26-16 lead by the end of the first quarter. Kanter also kicked in two steals and one block in 36 minutes while delivering his second straight double-double. He'll square off with the Nets Saturday.
Kanter shot 9-20 from the field. He hit six of his eight free throws, finishing with a team-high 24 points. Kanter was a monster on the boards, pulling down 17 rebounds. He was particularly active on the defensive side of the glass, where he came up with 10 of his boards.
"We have a starting lineup. Enes has been the starter. Rudy comes off the bench," Snyder said. "That's not something I believe in toying with."
Snyder added that he's been pleased with Kanter's play and his role will not be diminished.
"Enes has been terrific," he said. "He's a big part of what we do and we need him to play well."
Kanter missed four games due to an ankle injury before returning to action Saturday against the Rockets. He had 16 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. While he was able to make his return, Kanter said his ankle won't be 100 percent for a long time, reports the Deseret News.
"I can't just wait for it to be 100 percent," Kanter said. "I'm just going to go out there and play."
Utah is an 11 1/2-point underdog at Houston.
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