The MILWAUKEE and the PORTLAND will both be gunning for a victory on 11/30/2017 at 10:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
MILWAUKEE vs PORTLAND
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, November 30, 2017
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
|507||MILWAUKEE||-2.5 (-110)||202 (-110)||120
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), NBCSN Northwest (Portland)
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 106, Bucks 98
Oddsmakers currently have the PORTLAND listed as -2.5 point favorites versus the MILWAUKEE, while the game’s total is sitting at 202.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Milwaukee Bucks hope they’re onto something as they invade Moda Center on Thursday night to face the Portland Trail Blazers in the final stop on a four-game road trip.
1. Bucks PG Eric Bledsoe is averaging 23 points over his last three games to raise his season mark to 15.8.
2. Portland PF Noah Vonleh averaged 11.6 rebounds on the road trip.
3. Milwaukee took the last three in the series, including a 113-110 home win on Oct. 21 behind 44 points from Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks (10-9) enjoyed probably their most complete game of the season in a 112-87 victory at Sacramento on Tuesday, a night after the Kings knocked off the Golden State Warriors at Oakland.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (10-9): Finding an offense that doesn’t involve four people standing around while Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to make a play has been a goal for Milwaukee all season, and Tuesday seemed to mark a turning point. The Bucks handed out 27 assists on 42 made field goals and shot 59.2 percent from the floor in the win. “We’ve been wanting to play like this for a while, just moving the ball side to side and getting the best shot not caring who scores or shoots it,” Bucks swingman Khris Middleton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’ve had games like this but we’re not consistent. (Tuesday) was one of the nights where we played the right way and it shows that it works.”
Milwaukee shot a season-best 59.2 percent from the field and had 27 assists in 42 baskets in the romp past the Kings.
“The ball moved,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “We didn’t just hold it. We didn’t back down. We didn’t dribble 10 times to take a shot. Our guys trusted one another. They executed, did their job at both ends.”
“We’ve been wanting to play like this for a while, just moving the ball side to side and getting the best shot, not caring who scores or shoots it,” said Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton, who scored 12 points. “We played the right way, and it shows that it works.”
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and guard Eric Bledsoe filled up the boxscore in abbreviated appearances. Antetokounmpo scored 32 points on 11-for-16 shooting and also piled up five rebounds, five assists and five steals in 26 minutes. Bledsoe, acquired from Phoenix three weeks ago, had 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range. The point guard also collected five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 24 minutes.
Milwaukee’s defense allowed the Kings to shoot only 40.3 percent with 16 turnovers. Milwaukee had 13 steals, five in the first quarter.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (13-8): Portland moved swingman Pat Connaughton into the starting lineup at Brooklyn on Friday and watched him go 13-of-18 from the floor in three games as a starter — all wins. The Notre Dame product scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in Monday’s win at the New York Knicks — his highest total since going off for 24 points in the season opener. “This is who (Connaughton) is,” point guard Damian Lillard told the team’s website. “He’s going to go out there, he’s going to take the right shots, you know he’s going to be in the right spots defensively, he’s going to be a great teammate. He’s going to do what the team needs him to do. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him, from our coaches to everybody on our team. We just know what we’re going to get from him and I think the more time he’s out there, the more you guys are going to see how capable he is.”
“We were just helping one another,” Antetokounmpo said. “In the pick-and-roll, we had high hands. When you have high hands, you help the low man. When the low man is early, you help the fill man, the guy behind you. That’s what we did. We trusted one another defensively.”
Milwaukee, 2-1 on the road trip, goes into the Portland game 18th in the NBA in defensive rating at 105.8. The Blazers, who finished last season with a No. 21 defensive rating, have climbed to second this year at 99.3.
The Blazers put it together at both ends of the court while going 4-1 on their recently completed road trip, which ended with a 103-91 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday. The win over the Knicks was preceded by close wins in Washington and Brooklyn highlighted by playmaking down the stretch.
“It’s great momentum for us going forward,” said guard Damian Lillard, who led the way with 32 points against the Knicks.
“The best thing is our offense is kicking back into gear,” coach Terry Stotts said. “(Against New York), we made a lot of good reads. We moved well without the ball, made good passes. With the tempo we’re playing, there were a lot of good things.”
Pat Connaughton will make his fourth consecutive start at small forward. In the last two games, the third-year pro averaged 14.5 points, sinking 11 of 16 shots, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Lillard referred to Connaughton as the “MVP of the road trip.”
“He plays with a lot of confidence, and he’s a very smart player,” Stotts said. “It goes beyond making shots. He makes hard cuts, he makes team plays, (and) he doesn’t make many mistakes. He complements the players he’s out there with. He did that when he was coming off the bench, and he’s doing that as a starter.”
The Bucks, who beat Portland 113-110 in Milwaukee on Oct. 21, are looking for back-to-back wins over the Blazers for the first time since 2012-13.