Giannis Antetokounmpo went for a game-high 37 points despite continued problems at the free-throw line, and the Milwaukee Bucks used a big push late in the third quarter to beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 119-111 Monday night.
Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen chipped in 17 points apiece for the Bucks, who won for just the third time in their last seven games.
Playing without injured Damian Lillard, the Trail Blazers got 29 points from Anfernee Simons en route to a third straight defeat.
Portland led by as many as five points in the first half and hung within 77-73 past the midpoint of the third period before Antetokounmpo buried consecutive jumpers to ignite a 16-6 quarter-ending run that broke the game open.
Antetokounmpo had 12 of the Bucks’ 16 points in the run, including a pair of free throws in two attempts in his first game after a headline-grabbing postgame incident in Philadelphia when attempting to work on his shot.
Antetokounmpo finished just 5-for-12 at the line while also going 16-for-24 from the field. He is 24-for-56 on free throws in his last four games.
The point total was his third highest of the season.
Antetokounmpo also found time for seven rebounds, one off Allen’s team-high eight, and six assists, sharing game-high honors with Holiday.
Brook Lopez added 14 points and Bobby Portis 13 for Milwaukee, which was opening a four-game homestand.
Simons shot 12-for-23 overall, but just 3-for-11 on 3-pointers for the Trail Blazers, who connected on just eight of their 30 attempts from beyond the arc. The Bucks (9-for-28) weren’t much better.
Jerami Grant had 18 points, Josh Hart 17, Jusuf Nurkic 16 and Trendon Watford 10 for Portland, which was opening a four-game trip.
Nurkic led all rebounders in the game with 10, completing his fifth double-double of the season.
–Field Level Media