Bucks

Bucks Reaffirm Dominance in Rout of Blazers

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The Milwaukee Bucks blew out the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night 134-106 after dropping two straight games to the New Orleans Pelicans and the Charlotte Hornets.

After looking sluggish on both offense and defense the previous two games, the Bucks looked as though they had something to prove. Milwaukee came ready to play, scoring 79 points in the first half, which ties the season high for most points in a half. The last time the Bucks scored 79 in a half was earlier this season against Miami.

The Blazers were missing starters Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum. Forward Nassir Little stepped up and scored a career-high 30 points, but it was not enough to take down the Bucks, who shot 55% from the field and nailed 21 threes.

Providing A Spark Off The Bench 

In the weekend losses, the bench was nothing short of disappointing. Against Portland, the second unit appeared to take that personally as they outscored Portland’s bench 64-36. Bobby Portis has been an excellent addition to Milwaukee’s second unit and scored 21. D.J. Augustin and Bryn Forbes added 13 each. If these three continue to contribute, the Bucks are going to be a tough opponent for any team.

Getting Back On Track 

After the two tough losses to teams that Milwaukee should have beaten, it was clear that they needed this one.

Effective scoring night from stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday led the Bucks to the win over Portland. The three combined for 57 points while shooting a combined 23-31 from the floor.

Holiday scored a team-high 22 points, grabbed seven boards and dished six assists. He also took on the tough defensive assignment of covering Portland’s star point guard, Damian Lillard.

Jrue absolutely smothered Lillard, allowing only 17 points on 6-13 from the field and 2-7 from behind the arc, where Dame is usually red-hot. Slowing down Lillard is nothing new for Holiday, as Jrue got the best of Dame in the 2018 playoffs, holding him to just 18.5 points per game en route to Jrue’s Pelicans defeating Lillard’s Blazers 4-0 in the series.

Another good sign for Bucks fans is seeing Forbes and Augustin knock down shots. The two — especially the latter — have been struggling as of late, but looked sharp in the victory. Look for Bryn and D.J. to keep producing off the bench and taking open shots when they come.

The Milwaukee defense also looked stronger after allowing 21 threes from both the Pelicans and Hornets. The Bucks held the Blazers to 15 threes and held them to 37.5% shooting from the field. Improved defense combined with the Bucks stellar shooting allowed them to get back in the W column.

The Bucks did look good against the Blazers, but they will need to keep improving on the defensive end and will need constant production from the bench if they want to go on a run here in the second quarter of the season.

Follow us on Twitter @BucksLead for the latest Bucks news and insight. 

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About Tanner Duffney

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