Trail Blazers Return From Undefeated Trip To Host Bucks

by Casey Holdahl
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After a week on the road, the Portland Trail Blazers are returning to the Moda Center riding high thanks to going undefeated on a four-game, Eastern Conference road trip. And while any win on the road is a good one, only one of the teams they faced is currently in the playoff race, and even that team, the Miami Heat, was missing a number of players due to injury.

But the situation flips Friday night, with the Trail Blazers hosting one of the best teams in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks, in the first game of a back-to-back at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


ALL TIME: Bucks lead, 75-52
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 35-28
MILWAUKEE HOME: Bucks lead, 47-17
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 118-103, 11/6/18 (Portland)
LAST MILWAUKEE WIN: 134-106, 2/10/21 (Milwaukee)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Four (Milwaukee)


• The Trail Blazers April 2 game at the Bucks will be the second and final meeting between Portland and Milwaukee this season. Milwaukee leads the season series, 1-0.

RAINING THREES: Portland (16.2 three-pointers per game) and Milwaukee (14.7 three-pointers per game) rank second and fourth in the NBA in three-pointers. The Trail Blazers are on pace to average the second-most three-pointers per game in NBA history (behind this season's Utah Jazz). The record sits with the 2018-19 Rockets, at 16.1 per game.

LAST MEETING: Milwaukee won the first matchup between the two teams on Feb. 1, 134-106. Nassir Little led the Trail Blazers with a career-high 30 points (11-18 FG, 5-7 3-PT, 3-3 FT), six rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks. Jrue Holiday paced the Bucks with 22 points (10-14 FG, 2-3 3-PT), seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.

• Nassir Little's 30 points, 11 made field goals and five made three-pointers were all career-highs. Feb. 1 was not only his first career game with 30+ points, it was the first time he's reached the 20 point mark as well.

• Damian Lillard added 19 points (6-13 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 5-5 FT), three rebounds and seven assists against Milwaukee on Feb. 1. Lillard has recorded at least five assists in each of his last three games against the Bucks.

• Anfernee Simons had 15 points (5-15 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, five assists and two blocks against the Bucks on Feb. 1.

• After his 22 points on Feb. 1, Jrue Holiday has scored at least 20 points in five of his last six games against the Trail Blazers.

• Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 18 points, four rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes against Portland on Feb. 1. Antetokounmpo set a career-high with 15 assists against the Trail Blazers on Nov. 21, 2019 in Milwaukee.

MILESTONE WATCH: Carmelo Anthony (9,701 career FGM) is two made baskets from passing Patrick Ewing for 16th on the NBA all-time list. Anthony is second among active players in made field goals (James).


Game #47 - Portland 124, Detroit 101 — March 31, 2021, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

Portland outscored Detroit by 15 points in the final frame, capping a 124-101 victory over the Pistons in Detroit ... Portland had six players score in double-digits for the 13th time this season, improving to 10-3 in those games ... Damian Lillard led Portland with 33 points (9-19 FG, 5-7 3-PT, 10-11 FT), four rebounds and 10 assists ... CJ McCollum added 24 points (8-16 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 4-4 FT), three rebounds, six assists and two blocks ... Robert Covington had 16 points on 6-of-8 from the field (4-5 3-PT), six boards and three steals ... Carmelo Anthony had 16 points and three boards off the bench ... Anthony is one FGM from tying Patrick Ew- ing for 16th all-time ... Normal Powell had 14 points, three rebounds and three steals ... Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 30 points (11-19 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 5-9 FT), two rebounds, four assists and three blocks ... Hamidou Diallo had 19 points and seven boards in his third game as a Piston ... Mason Plumlee added 18 points.

Game #46 - Portland 122, Toronto 117 — March 28, 2021, Amalie Arena, Tampa

The Trail Blazers balanced scoring attack proved too much for the Raptors as Portland earned the W over Toronto Sunday evening in Tampa ... The Trail Blazers had seven players finish in double figures, improving to 9-3 when at least six players score 10+ ... CJ McCollum led Portland with 23 points (9-18 FG, 1-7 3-PT, 4-4 FT), seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a season-high three blocks ... Damian Lillard added 22 points (7-21 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 6-6 FT) and 11 assists ... Lillard recorded nine assists in the first quarter, a career-high for a single period ... Robert Covington recorded his fifth double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points, 12 boards, three steals and four blocks ... Derrick Jones Jr. had 16 points (7-9 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 1-1 FT), three rebounds and two blocks off the bench ... Pascal Siakham led the Raptors with 26 points (8-16 FG, 2-3 3-PT, 8-10 FT), eight rebounds and two assists ... Fred VanVleet added 20 points and eight assists.

Game #45 - Portland 112, Orlando 105 — March 26, 2021, Amway Center, Orlando

Galvanized by one of the best midseason debuts in team history, the Trail Blazers took down the Magic, 112-105 in Orlando ... The Trail Blazers made at least 18 threes for the third consecutive game ... CJ McCollum led Portland with 22 points (8-26 FG, 2-11 3-PT, 4-4 FT), five rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes ... In his first game as a Trail Blazer, Norman Powell scored 22 points (7-13 FG, 5-7 3-PT, 3-5 FT) and had two rebounds, one assist and two steals ... It was the highest scoring debut of a player at least 20 games into the season in team history ... Robert Covington added 15 points (4-6 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds and five assists ... Enes Kanter recorded his third straight game with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds, finishing with 15 of both ... Chuma Okeke led the Magic with a career-high 22 points (9-15 FG, 4-6 3-PT), six rebounds and four assists ... Dwayne Bacon added 17 points, three rebounds and six assists.


Nassir Little (right thumb sprain) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out for Friday’s game versus Bucks.

As for the Bucks, Jeff Teague (health and safety protocols) and Bobby Portis (health and safety protocols) are questionable and P.J. Tucker (left calf; strain) is out.


Friday’s game can be seen locally on NBC Sports NW. The game can be heard on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.


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