Notebook: Bucks 102, Trail Blazers 95



Posted Mar 19, 2013 11:28 PM

Rick Braun, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Brandon Jennings scored 24 points, and the Milwaukee defense held Portland to 2-for-20 shooting in the second quarter as the Bucks built a huge halftime lead and coasted to a 102-95 victory over the Trail Blazers Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Monta Ellis added 21 points as the Bucks (34-32) won their second straight despite missing two starters.

Wesley Matthews led Portland (31-36) with 28 points playing in the arena where he played his college ball with Marquette.

QUOTABLE: "That's been our main concern and tonight we just wanted to come out with a lot of energy. We didn't want to play with this team and try to climb back like we had to do the other night. So we came out, did what we had to do and built ourselves a cushion. They made a run -- this is the NBA -- but we were able to close the game out."

-- Ellis on the Bucks' defensive intensity from the start

THE STAT: While the Bucks scored 31 points in the second quarter, that's all the Blazers managed for the entire first half. The Blazers' 58-31 deficit at the break rendered a strong second half meaningless. Portland never got closer than the final score.

TURNING POINT: Meyers Leonard scored just before the first-quarter buzzer to pull Portland within 27-23. But the Bucks opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run, making the rest of the night just a statistical exercise.

QUOTABLE II: "I feel like we're a good defensive team when everybody covers each others' back. If a breakdown happens, someone helps over. We load from the weak side to the strong side, and by the time -- there's 24 seconds on the shot clock -- you play defense for a possession, then string a couple of those together, and it changed the game."

-- Bucks center Larry Sanders, who had three blocks to go with 13 rebounds and eight points

HOT: Matthews made 7 of 11 3-pointers, and the Blazers made 13 of 26 to give the Bucks some uncomfortable moments in the second half.

NOT: Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard was just 2-for-10, including 0-for-4 on 3-pointers.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Ellis put together a strong line in every statistical category. Along with his 21 points, he posted nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

GOOD MOVE: Samuel Dalembert started in place of injured Ersan Ilyasova and set the offensive tone with 10 first-quarter points on 5-for-7 shooting. He finished with 16 points in just under 20 minutes.

BAD MOVE: By letting the Blazers make a game of it in the second half, the Bucks missed an opportunity to rest players down the stretch. That could hurt them Wednesday night in Atlanta as they play one of the teams just ahead of them for playoff seeding.

NOTABLE: Ilyasova missed the game with a hip injury sustained Sunday when he dived out of bounds for a key save that helped clinch the victory over Orlando. He will not travel to Atlanta for Wednesday's game. Also, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute missed his fifth straight game with a sprained toe. Marquis Daniels started in his place. ... The Bucks completed a 2-0 sweep of the Blazers for the second straight season. The last time the Bucks swept the Blazers in back-to-back seasons was the 1984-'85 and 1985-'86 seasons. ... LaMarcus Aldridge had a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double.

UP NEXT: For the Trail Blazers, Thursday @ Chicago, Friday @ Atlanta, Sunday @ Oklahoma City. For the Bucks, Wednesday @ Atlanta, Friday @ Indiana, Sunday vs. Atlanta.