(AP) PORTLAND, Oregon — The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-108 on Monday night to extend their winning run to eight games, led by 27 points from Brook Lopez.
The Bucks maintained their lead throughout the game, increasing it to 26 points in the second half thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 24 points and 13 rebounds.
At halftime, Lopez led all scorers with 17 points, and Milwaukee was up 58-48. He also grabbed nine rebounds. With 10:41 remaining in the third quarter, he made a 3-pointer to score his 15,000th point of the season.
“I still have a long way to go and a lot of time left to play. The 14-year-old Lopez added, “I’m just loving it and I want to keep getting better, continuing being an efficient player out there, being the greatest player I could be. “I’m fortunate that there are individuals out there wanting to assist me, make me better, and put me in that position,” the speaker said.
With 28 points, Damian Lillard led the Blazers. Earlier in the day, Antetokounmpo and Lillard were chosen as the NBA’s players of the week.
Lillard earned his second consecutive POTW award last week with an average of 38.3 points and 6.8 assists, while Antetokounmpo averaged 41 points and 17.3 rebounds.
Despite discomfort in his right knee, Antetokounmpo began. The two-time league MVP led the Bucks to a 123-115 win against Miami on Saturday with a triple-double of 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Portland had just finished a three-game winning run when it lost 129-121 at Chicago on Saturday.
Jusuf Nurkic’s left calf tightness prevented him from playing centre, thus the Blazers had trouble with the bulkier Bucks.
Milwaukee had a 15-point lead at one point in the first half, but Lillard sank a 3-pointer from just inside the half-court line, eliciting gasps and then applause from the home crowd.
To end the third quarter with a 95-71 advantage, the Bucks went on a 22-8 run.
Only nine of Portland’s 36 3-point tries were successful.
Coach Chauncey Billups of the Trail Blazers said, “To be honest with you, they made some adjustments to their defence this year. “Due to that drop coverage, they used to allow the most 3-pointers in the league. not right now. They deserve a tonne of credit, in my opinion. (Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer) has performed admirably. Even though they still have a really strong defence, they aren’t allowing as many three-pointers, so getting those looks will require more effort.