NBA regular season

Giannis’ huge night leads Bucks past Blazers

Giannis’ huge night leads Bucks past Blazers

ON FIRE. Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it home during the Bucks’ big win over the Blazers.

Photo by Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Making his MVP case yet again, Giannis Antetokounmpo drops a season-best 47 points on a staggering 86% shooting clip

Giannis Antetokounmpo matched his season-best of 47 points on splendid 18-of-21 shooting to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a convincing 127-109 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, April 2 (Saturday, April 3, Manila time).

Antetokounmpo also collected 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots while recording his third 40-point effort and 32nd double-double of the season. 

The Bucks defeated the Trail Blazers for the fifth straight time by an average of 23.6 points and have also won 9 of the past 10 meetings.

Jrue Holiday added 22 points and 10 assists and Khris Middleton contributed 20 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals as Milwaukee improved to 2-1 on a six-game road trip.

Damian Lillard made 5 three-pointers while scoring 32 points for Portland, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. 

CJ McCollum notched 18 points and 7 assists, Robert Covington also had 18 points on 6 three-pointers and Norman Powell had 12 points.

The Trail Blazers shot 36.4% and were 21-of-54 from three-point range while falling for just the third time in the past 10 games.

The Bucks held a 58-24 edge in points in the paint while shooting 54.4% from the field, including 12-of-39 from behind the arc.

Lillard scored the first 5 points of the 3rd quarter as the Trail Blazers pulled within 60-58 before the Bucks began to pull away and finished with a 37-20 edge in the stanza.

Brook Lopez buried a three-pointer to give Milwaukee an 82-68 lead with 6:26 left. Nearly 3 minutes later, Holiday’s basket made it 86-70.

Bryn Forbes drained a three-pointer to push the Bucks’ lead to 93-73 with 1:15 left. Donte DiVincenzo made two free throws and Holiday added a jumper as Milwaukee held a 97-73 advantage heading into the final stanza.

Portland moved within 110-97 on Powell’s layup with 5:20 remaining in the contest. A short time later, Covington nailed his sixth triple to move the Trail Blazers within 12.

But Middleton made two free throws and Antetokounmpo converted a three-point play to make it 117-100 before Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer called timeout with 3:21 left to clear the bench. 

Jordan Nwora added a trey and Jeff Teague scored on a layup to push the lead to 22 as Milwaukee closed it out.

Antetokounmpo scored 24 points as the Bucks led by as many as 14 in the first half. But Covington and McCollum knocked down three-pointers to end the half as Portland trailed 60-53. –