Blazers battle Bucks, but lose war
Giannis Antetokounmpo produced his fifth triple-double of the season and Eric Bledsoe bombed in 30 points as Milwaukee defeated the Trail Blazers 137-129 Thursday night at Fiserv Forum.
Antetokounmpo made only 9 of 27 field-goal attempts but collected 24 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists as the Bucks (11-3) won their fifth straight game and ninth in their last 10 outings.
CJ McCollum had season highs in scoring (37) and assists (10) for the Blazers (5-11), who have lost three in a row and nine of 11.
Three former Blazers made major contributions for Milwaukee, which owned a 58-41 advantage on the boards. Pat Connaughton came off the bench for 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting, Wesley Matthews scored 12 points while hitting 4 of 7 3-point attempts, and Robin Lopez contributed six points and six rebounds.
Skal Labissiere posted season highs in scoring (22), rebounds (12) and blocked shots (five) in 28 reserve minutes for Portland.
In his second game with the Blazers, Carmelo Anthony had 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. Anthony made only 6 of 15 shots but was 3 for 5 from beyond the arc.
Portland cut a 72-58 halftime deficit to 94-88 in the third quarter. The Blazers scored 40 points in the quarter but still trailed 107-98 entering the final period.
The Blazers trimmed the difference to 114-110 on back-to-back baskets by Labissiere. Moments later, a McCollum 3-pointer closed the gap to 117-115. Milwaukie answered with back-to-back 3's to make it 123-115 with 6:30 left.
Portland got to within 133-127 on a McCollum layup with 56.3 seconds to play. Antetokounmpo made a pair at the line to make the score 135-127 with 31.9 ticks remaining, and it was over.
Milwaukee started the game 7 for 7 from the field en route to a 17-6 lead. Portland used a 12-2 run to draw within 19-18. The Bucks took a 37-27 lead into the second quarter.
The Bucks extended the difference to 56-40 midway through the quarter. They carried a 14-point edge into the break.
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