In a contest that was over nearly as soon as it started, the Milwaukee Bucks soundly defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, heretofore the best team in the Western Conference, mind you, to the tune of 143-100.
The game can be summed up simply: the Bucks played with all the energy that the Blazers lacked. Portland approached defense like a toddler does a coloring book: they knew what they were supposed to do, but showed no interest in actually doing it. The first half’s conclusion was a perfect microcosm: after going up 70-50, Pat Connaughton forced a turnover on a routine inbounds pass...by doing little more than getting in the way. That twenty-point lead rose to twenty-two after this:
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the night with 33 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals. Khris Middleton was quiet but efficient, logging 21 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Eric Bledsoe rounded things out for the Marquee Three with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 dimes, and President Malcolm Brogdon put up 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Tonight was the kind of game where Brook Lopez scores 3 points (on a three, naturally)...and ends his night with a +/- of plus-34. Thon Maker pitched in 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists, and Christian Wood – CHRISTIAN WOOD! – took the floor at the beginning of the fourth quarter and still managed 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
For Portland, Damian Lillard (22 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) and CJ McCollum (22 points on 7/14 shooting) put up customary numbers, but much of their damage was dealt when the game was already out of control. Jusuf Nurkic (16 points, 6 rebounds) managed to get some work done inside, but it really didn’t impact the game. No other Trail Blazer managed to crack double-digits in scoring.
Stat That Stood Out
Roughly 1 bajillion points in the paint for Milwaukee. The Bucks as a franchise technically own every square inch of the hardwood, and tonight they exercised their ownership in extreme fashion within 3 feet of the hoop, scoring SEVENTY-TWO (72) points in the paint to Portland’s 38. From the get-go, the Blazers left lanes to the rim open, and the Bucks were more than happy to oblige. To be fair, Portland was on a SEGABABA after playing the Knicks last night...but LOOK AT THESE DUNKS THOUGH.