With the Portland Trailblazers missing an excessive amount of their core pieces, they put up a closer fight than most would’ve expected, but Giannis Antetokounmpo controlled every aspect of the Milwaukee Bucks offense to guide them for a 137-129 win. Milwaukee opened the game on fire from the field, starting 7-7, but quickly cooled off during a Blazers run as the first quarter completed with a 37-27 advantage for the Bucks.
Three Milwaukee players hit double digits by halftime in Giannis (11), Eric Bledsoe (14) and Pat Connaughton (11) as the team led 72-58. The fast pace continued in the third, with Milwaukee ahead 107-98 when the fourth began. Portland kept it close to the final buzzer, but could never quite get over the hump.
Giannis had a rough shooting night overall, going just 9-27 from the field, and only 1-7 from 3-point land. However, he was drawing Blazers defenders like moths to light, and he lit them up with his passing to the tune of a career-high 15 assists and 19 rebounds to finish with a triple double and get our minds pondering a 20-20-20 game. Eric Bledsoe again provided a proper second scoring punch with 30 points and six assists on 11-21 shooting. Donte DiVincenzo had 16 points, another solid starter effort, while Connaughton finished with 18.
CJ McCollum capitalized on the extra usage available with Damian Lillard out to shoot 15-29 for 37 points to go with 10 assists and six boards. Skal Labissiere used his high-arcing shot to great effect versus Milwaukee’s defense with 22 points while Carmelo Anthony shot just 6-15, but there were shots to be had, so he ended with 18 points.
Stat That Stood Out
With no Hassan Whiteside, there was nobody remotely capable of controlling the defensive rebounds for Portland, giving Milwaukee the opportunity for 18 freaking offensive boards. Giannis only had four of those, and Brook had none, so it was a group effort all around leading to just a 64% defensive rebounding percentage for the Blazers. Yikes.