NBA: Antetokounmpo leads Bucks past Blazers

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 12 2020 03:58 PM

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots a free throw. File photo. Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 32 points, 17 rebounds and six assists to help the visiting Milwaukee Bucks roll to a 122-101 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Khris Middleton added 30 points and Eric Bledsoe scored 29 as the Bucks won for the eighth time in the past nine games and reached the halfway point of the season with a 35-6 record.

That puts Milwaukee on pace to win 70 games and surpass the franchise-best 66-16 mark set by the 1970-71 squad led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Antetokounmpo's big performance came one night after he scored a season-low 13 points in a win over the Sacramento Kings.

Damian Lillard scored 26 points and CJ McCollum added 20 as the Trail Blazers lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Carmelo Anthony registered 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Kent Bazemore added 10 points.

Portland's Hassan Whiteside missed the contest with an upper respiratory illness.

Donte DiVincenzo added 10 points off the bench for Milwaukee, which made 45.6 percent of its field-goal attempts and 14 of 38 from 3-point range.

Anthony Tolliver collected 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who shot 38.9 percent from the field and were 10 of 36 from behind the arc.

Portland trailed 87-75 after Anthony's tip-in with 3:01 left in the third quarter before the Bucks scored seven of the next nine points. Antetokounmpo's basket concluded the burst to make it a 17-point margin.

Milwaukee took a 97-80 lead into the fourth quarter before Sterling Brown and Antetokounmpo each hit 3-pointers in the opening two minutes to push the lead to 103-82.

Bledsoe's three-point play made it 116-94 with 7:16 left, and Middleton later scored five straight points as the Bucks increased their lead to a game-high 25 with 5:15 remaining and cruised to the finish.

Antetokounmpo had 21 points and 13 rebounds in the first half as the Bucks took a 64-55 advantage.

Antetokounmpo tallied 13 points in the opening quarter as Milwaukee led 32-24. His basket made it 38-25 early in the second stanza before Portland trimmed the margin to four with 7:12 left.

But the Bucks responded with a 10-4 push to push the lead to 53-43 en route to the nine-point halftime lead.

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