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Milwaukee vs. Portland: Bucks Race Past Blazers, 134-106

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Milwaukee shoots 50 percent from deep in victory

Portland Trail Blazers v Milwaukee Bucks

Ah, so that’s what it’s like to make a lot of threes! The Bucks would use their fantastic shooting display to knock off the Portland Trailblazers, 134-106.

After we saw the Bucks get torched in the first quarter last game by the 3-point ball, they’d use it to their advantage to open things up in this one. They’d connect on eight threes at a clip of 80 percent and shoot a red-hot 68 percent from the floor. That’d be good enough to earn them an impressive 46-36 double-digit lead after one.

That 3-pointing would continue to roll throughout the second quarter — and really push the Bucks to a force of domination. They’d constantly flirt with a 20+ point lead, and Portland would struggle mightily to stop the bleeding. Milwaukee would connect on 14 threes, which helped result in a 79-56 halftime advantage.

We’d go full bonkers in the third quarter. Milwaukee absolutely couldn’t miss, and it was a party in Fiserv — even without fans. The Bucks just kept pouring and pouring it on. A flurry of energy was provided by Bobby Portis (more on him later), and Milwaukee would capitalize on that with a 36 point advantage entering the fourth at 113-77.

It’d be smooth sailing across the finish line from that point on. The Bucks would bring in the reserves and put the finishing touches on the trouncing — a 134-106 victory.

On the evening, Jrue Holiday led all Bucks in scoring with 22 points. Bobby Portis was just a single point behind him, finishing with 21 off the bench.

Nassir Little was the top scorer for Portland with a game-high 30 poitnts.

What Did We Learn?

We learned that things go well when the Bucks are the ones that shoot a lot of 3-pointers.

After three consecutive outings where the Bucks’ defense gave up 20 3-pointers (the first time that has ever happened in NBA history), the hot 3-point shooting was on Milwaukee’s side tonight. After Portland quickly shot some in to start things out, it began to look like a repeat of the past several nights. However, the Bucks quickly turned the table in their favor and didn’t look back. They’d end up pouring in 21 on the night at a 50 percent rate. In other words, Portland was in trouble. It was finally nice to have perimeter shooting go in Milwaukee’s favor.

Three Observations

BOBBY. PORTIS. WOW.

The energy Bobby Portis brings is simply unmatched. He’d contribute last night with 21 points and eight rebounds, and 110 percent on the energy meter. He seemed to simply do everything on the night. Two of the main highlights were him simply ripping the ball out of the hands of a Portland player, as well as slamming one home and unleashing a primal scream afterword. He is the Michael Beasley of this team. Such a fun and energetic player that can contribute in more ways than one. Hey, he even got a ball down that was stuck between the shot clock and backboard!

Ball movement really helped Milwaukee in this one.

Right from the get go, you could tell that something was different with Milwaukee’s passing rhythm. The level of concentration was unmatched and passes were crisp. Every player seemed to be getting their fingerprints on the basketball. That’d result in their 3-point shooting be red hot, and put the Blazers in a never-ending loop of trying to dig out of a hole. When it was all said and done, Milwaukee threaded together 38 assists — a major component in their victory.

Milwaukee’s bench provided an essential spark.

I mentioned Bobby Portis above, and his 21 points off the bench were the biggest spark of them all. However, I gotta give some credit to Bryn Forbes and DJ Augustin as well. Both of them contributed with 13 points of their own, and Augustin added five boards as well. The stark difference? Those numbers when compared to Portland’s bench. Only one player on Portland — Anfernee Simmons, scored double digits — and most of those came in garbage time. Paired with Milwaukee’s impeccable shooting, that was a recipe for success.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • There were numerous examples of where Donte’s hustle shined. The one that stands out the most actually didn’t result in a basket. DiVincenzo raced down the floor to save a ball that was going out at the baseline, threw it back to Giannis, who then unfortunately missed the bunny. Regardless, it was an impressive effort on Donte’s end.
  • In garbage time, Thanasis had a monster slam:

Of course, it naturally resulted in a mean mug:

  • It was just so relieving to see the Bucks hold a team to below 20 3-pointers. I was expecting this to be ugly with Dame on the other end, but thankfully, he was held in check throughout the night. With the big lead growing early on, there wasn’t much of a need for him to be out on the court much.
  • I’m really coming to love these Milwaukee jerseys. The blue really pops. The only complaint is that I wish that they would’ve gone with a different font. For me, it looks almost too superhero-y.
  • Last, here’s that primal Bobby Portis yell I was referencing earlier: