The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 21 points with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block, with support from Damian Lillard (19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) and Wesley Matthews (15 points). As the team struggled with tired legs, every player had a role in this game, in both good and bad ways.
The victory was Portland's eighth in a row, their longest streak since they won 13 consecutive games in Dec. 2007. The victory also completed Portland's first 4-0 road trip since Jan. 2003.
First Quarter: Stop me if this sounds familiar: Both teams started the game with insanely hot shooting. For the Blazers, the next-level-angry Matthews continued his run of dominance. They couldn't pull away, as their turnovers held them back, and the three-pointers stopped falling. The bench came in and held down the fort, but couldn't gain an advantage. As the quarter wound down, Lillard drove to the hoop and was kneed in the abdomen; no foul was called and the buzzer sounded.
Milwaukee 24, Portland 23
Freeland is quickly becoming my second favorite Blazer...
Nobody will take Batum’s spot in my heart, but Freeland is making a case for second favorite.
Second Quarter: The Blazer bench didn't look too good. I'm saying they looked sick. And I'm not saying "give up 17 points in 3 minutes" bad. But they weren't looking great. Mo Williams was shut down, and Thomas Robinson was trying to initiate the offense. It went about as well as you'd expect, but the Bucks could only push to a 6 point lead. As the starters returned at the mid-point, the Blazers regained the lead on an Aldridge jumper, followed by a Batum three. The Bucks stayed close to close the quarter.
Portland 53, Milwaukee 51
How many Western Conference 2-guards have been better than Wes thus far this season?
Third Quarter: I don't know what Stotts said in the locker room, but the Blazers came out aggressive, with nice passing and solid shooting. The Bucks took a timeout after the Blazers quickly scored the first 6 points. Lopez gave the Blazers their first double-digit lead with free throws. However, their turnovers caught up with them again (Wesley should really stay behind the three-point line mostly), and the Bucks stayed close. That led to a stretch of the third quarter that was the most dreadful sports-related thing you'll see this week. Just close your eyes and fast forward through a bunch of awful shots and turnovers, and accept that the Blazers let the Bucks hang around in the game.
Portland 70, Milwaukee 64
One thing i would like this team to do is learn how to put the weaker teams away. That way the starters can rest and we can see some more bench.
by Chuck Norriss
Fourth Quarter: Williams immediately hit a three-pointer to open the quarter, followed by a Dorell Wright three. But a terrible Blazer turnover wiped out that advantage. But the Blazers got two consecutive steals for fast-break layups to restore their lead, only to immediately give up another three-pointer. The sloppy play led to a timeout with 8 minutes left and a 7 point lead. The Blazers added two points to the lead at the halfway point, but couldn't put away the sloppy Bucks. Caron Butler's three-pointer kept Milwaukee within 6 with four minutes left. But a steal led to a Lillard fast-break dunk. followed by another break leading to a Lillard three, and suddenly the lead was 11 with less than 3 minutes. In response, the Bucks promptly turned the ball over, and the Blazers slowly ran out the clock, celebrating a hard-fought sweep of their four-game East Coast road trip.
Dave will have more analysis later tonight. The Blazers are home Friday night to play the Chicago Bulls.
Comments of the night!
Thanks to everyone who participates in our nightly Gameday Threads! I always quote a few favorites in the recap, but for a little extra fun, these were the most popular comments of the night based on number of recs: