The Lillard-less Blazers’ losing streak extended to three games following a 137-129 loss to the Bucks on Thursday. Carmelo Anthony’s game wasn’t perfect, but it was slightly better than his 4-14 shooting performance against the Pelicans. Melo finished with a 6-15 shooting night from the field for 18 points. Outside of Melo, CJ McCollum led the way for Portland with 37 points in 38 minutes of action.
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame a poor shooting night to notch a monstrous triple-double. The reigning MVP finished with 24 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists.
Tonight’s Key Points:
- Easy Come, Easy Go: With Hassan Whiteside on the sideline, the Blazers starting back line of Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Tolliver looked overmatched early and often. The Bucks connected on their first seven shots from the field and controlled the paint. The Blazers allowed 64 points in the paint in the loss, the Bucks allowed just 38.
- Let ‘Em Fly: The post game might have been ugly, but the Blazers had it working from beyond the arc. Six players recorded a three-pointer in the first quarter, keeping Portland at a respectable distance early in the game. The Blazers finished the contest shooting 43.6 percent from distance.
- Friends to Foes: Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez and Pat Connaughton comprised a trio of former Blazers playing for the Bucks. They combined for 36 points against their former team. Connaughton led the way with his explosive offense that was clicking from inside and outside the arc. The former Notre Dame standout finished with 18 points.
- Skal Shines: Skal Labissière, the last center standing for Portland, notched a season-high 22 points. The former Kings big fella connected on two three-pointers, his first conversions from distance in the 2019-20 season. Defensively, Labissière did his best to provide resistance at the rim, racking up five blocks in the process.
- Scrappy Second Half: Regardless of a 72-58 deficit at halftime, the undermanned Blazers battled back in the third quarter to outscore the Bucks 40-35 in the period. It wasn’t enough to outlast the Bucks down the stretch, but the effort shouldn’t go unnoticed.
The Blazers head to Cleveland to face the Cavs on Saturday.