The Portland Trail Blazers took a backyard beating at the hands of the bigger and tougher Milwaukee Bucks Monday, getting blown out on the road 134-106. Aside from the opening eight minutes or so, and a career night for Nassir Little (30 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal), the game was almost entirely unwatchable.
Portland stayed competitive for most of the opening period behind hot shooting from beyond the arc, of which they attempted with reckless abandon. The Blazers canned seven from deep in the first quarter, but the Bucks were even hotter with eight on their way to an early 46-36 lead, which put a damper on what was otherwise a solid offensive effort.
Damian Lillard came out of the gates in attack mode, but the Bucks can actually play defense, so he was forced to defer more than Portland would probably like in order to keep pace with Milwaukee’s seemingly endless depth. Outside of Little, who had his best game as a pro, the rest of the Blazers struggled to keep making shots and Portland’s field goal percentage quickly plummeted back to Earth. The Blazers finished shooting a paltry 38%.
The Bucks, however, stayed in the upper stratosphere all night, hovering around an absurd 60% overall AND from range for virtually all of the contest before garbage time. Portland, to put it bluntly, never had a chance. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was iffy to play in the first place and in hindsight could have probably taken the extra rest as the remainder of the Bucks appeared perfectly capable of handling things on their own. What he, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton started with the fist unit, Bobby Portis and DJ Augustin finished with the backups. It was just an all-out annihilation from all directions.
By half time, Milwaukee had already almost locked up whatever food promotion they offer at Fiserv Forum, leading 79-56, and they never had to look in the rearview mirror.
The Bucks continued to pile it on, building their lead as high as 39 points before Terry Stotts waved the white flag. At least the guys can get some rest on the first night of a back-to-back.
The Blazers will fly to D.C. to take on the Washington Wizards tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. Pacific.