Middleton has 26 and Milwaukee beats the Blazers 103-91
PORTLAND, Ore. — Khris Middleton had 26 points while Eric Bledsoe had 25 and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Trail Blazers 103-91 on Thursday night to snap a three-game Portland winning streak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots for the Bucks, who have won their last four games against the Blazers.
The Bucks led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter and the Blazers struggled to keep up. Portland was also vexed by turnovers, with 19 compared to Milwaukee’s nine.
Jusuf Nurkic led Portland with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Damian Lillard added 18 points.
Lillard’s layup closed Portland within 94-81 with 5:52 left and it appeared the Blazers may rally, but Middleton answered with an 11-foot jumper. Portland’s frustration was clear when Nurkic and coach Terry Stotts both earned technicals for a foul call on Nurkic on a block.
Portland was coming off a 4-1 trip, including a 103-91 victory over the Knicks on Monday. The Blazers also saw the return of forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who missed 13 games with a right ankle injury.
But they struggled with the Bucks from the start.
Middleton hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bucks a 33-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. Portland went on a 10-2 run to close within 35-31, but Middleton slowed the rally with a long jumper.
John Henson’s short jumper put the Bucks up 46-33 as the Trail Blazers struggled to find much offensive flow. Lillard went up for a layup to end the half and he was blocked by Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee led 60-45 at the break, led by Bledsoe with 17 points. Bledsoe’s jumper stretched the lead to 69-49 in the third quarter.
Bledsoe’s layup made 83-59 and boos could be heard among the hometown fans.
The Bucks are coming off a 112-87 victory at Sacramento on Tuesday. The game in Portland concluded a four-game trip.
Milwaukee won the first meeting this season 113-110, led by Antetokounmpo with a career-high 44 points. Thursday’s meeting between the teams was the last of the season.
Henson had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks.
Bucks: Milwaukee guard Gary Payton II went to Oregon State, following in the footsteps of his famous father. The crowd at the Moda Center greeted him with a warm applause when he came in the game late. … Thon Maker was handed a flagrant foul for elbowing Nurkic in the face in the first quarter.
Trail Blazers: With Aminu’s return, rookie Caleb Swanigan went to the inactive list for the game. … Portland wore new all-red “Statement” uniforms for the first time. The jerseys featured a black diagonal stripe.
Portland played a video tribute to former Blazer Steve “Snapper” Jones, who died this past weekend in Houston after a lengthy illness. Jones was a three-time All-Star in eight ABA seasons, and played his lone NBA season with the Blazers in 1975-76, before a lengthy career in broadcasting. He was 75.
The Bucks return home to host the Kings on Saturday night.
The Trail Blazers host the Pelicans on Saturday night.