Portland enjoyed the Bucks’ infamously-leaky three-point defense in the first quarter, but Milwaukee’s offense produced enough to keep up with the Blazers’ torrid shooting. Once the reserves came in, the Bucks kept the pedal to the metal and ended up scoring 46 in the opening quarter, leading Portland by 10. The story remained the same for much of the second quarter, where the Trail Blazers cooled off as Milwaukee stayed red-hot, leading 79-56 at halftime and shooting 63.6% (14/22) from three. The lead ballooned to 113-77 at the end of the third quarter, and garbage time commenced from there.
The Bucks – and Bucks fans – needed a game like this. A game where enough things went well that they drastically outweighed the things that didn’t. Their shots fell, their opponents’ didn’t, and the other parts of the game that could balance the scales (rebounding, officiating, loose balls, etc.) went in the Bucks’ favor too. Milwaukee’s problems are not all of a sudden solved, and the effort required to bring the defense up to par with the team’s league-leading offense remains a work-in-progress. Still, as a palate-cleanser, this win was right on time and hopefully acts as a sort of “reset” for the team as they head into one more home game before a lengthy road trip.
Stat That Stood Out
The game was over relatively early, but the Milwaukee bench showed up in ways they hadn’t lately, including a 43-21 scoring advantage over the Portland reserves through the first three quarters (64-36 overall). This, even more than the Bucks’ scorching shooting, is what helped buoy the team’s momentum. Instead of having to restart things when the engine got cold, the consistency the bench provided on offense allowed Milwaukee to essentially plow through any obstacles they came across.