Milwaukee Bucks down Portland Trail Blazers, 119-111
Milwaukee took a first-half lead and never let it get away as the Bucks beat the Trail Blazers 119-111 Monday.
It was the first game of a four-game road trip for the Blazers (10-7), who will likely play each of the games without Damian Lillard (calf).
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has a history of putting up big numbers against Portland, led Milwaukee (12-4) with 37 points. He made 16 of 24 shots from the field (0 of 1 on a 3-pointer and 5 of 12 on free throws), and added seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen added 17 points.
The Ducks shot .547 from the field, despite going 9 of 28 (.321) on 3-pointers.
Anfernee Simons led Portland with 29 points. Jerami Grant added 18 points, Josh Hart 17 and Jusuf Nurkic 16 (and 10 rebounds).
The Blazers, who fell to 6-3 on the road, play at Cleveland, 4 p.m. Wednesday, followed by games at New York Knicks on Friday and Brooklyn on Sunday.
Bad shooting: The Blazers went just 8 of 30 (.267) on 3-pointers. Simons was 3 of 11.
First half: Portland was competitive in the first half, shooting .568 from the field — despite notching only eight assists (on 25 makes) and making only four 3-pointers and with only three offensive rebounds.
Helping hands: The Blazers did finish with 19 assists on their 44 baskets, but Milwaukee had 31 assists on 47 makes.
Game grade: C
It's hard to give the Blazers a bad grade, considering they played without Lillard. Any game they can stay competitive with an elite NBA team can help the team's confidence moving forward.
And, who doesn't have a hard time stopping Giannis?
But, they also didn't get within striking distance in the second half.
If Portland can manage one win on the trip, it'll be a good thing. The Cavaliers will be a tough matchup as another of the NBA's best teams.
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