NBA Game Summary - Portland at Milwaukee
(Saturday, April 7th)
Final Score: Milwaukee 116, Portland 94
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Brandon Jennings and Beno Udrih scored 21 points apiece as the Milwaukee Bucks used a dominant second half to run away with a 116-94 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Bradley Center.
Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Monta Ellis finished with 17 points and seven assists for Milwaukee, which won its fourth straight game to pull within a half game behind the idle New York Knicks for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
LaMarcus Aldridge netted 21 points and Raymond Felton contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who had their two-game win streak snapped.
Portland carried a 63-54 advantage into third quarter after a back-and-forth first half, but after Felton's layup gave the Trail Blazers a 65-54 lead, Milwaukee battled back with a 13-2 run to knot the game at 67.
Aldridge put an end to the spurt with a jumper to stop Milwaukee from going on top, sparking an 11-4 swing to put Portland ahead, 78-71.
But the Bucks dominated the rest of the game as they closed out the third with a 15-5 push to take an 86-83 edge into the fourth and carried that momentum into the final stanza by opening the frame with six straight points.
Wesley Matthews put an end to the spurt with a three-pointer to get Portland back within six, 92-86, but the Trail Blazers would get no closer than that as the Bucks used a 13-2 run to jump out to a double-digit lead, 105-88, and they cruised to the victory from there.
"We felt like we had more energy so when we came out for the second half, we just wanted to pick them up on the full court and make it tough for them," said Ellis. "We did and we ran away with the game."
The opening four-plus minutes of action saw five lead changes, two ties and neither team hold more than a three-point lead until a 10-0 run by the Trail Blazers put them ahead, 19-12, near the midpoint of the first.
Milwaukee, though, closed out the first frame on a strong note to take a 33-31 lead into the second.
Jamal Crawford open the second with a three-pointer to put the Trail Blazers back on top, and after Ellis followed with a layup to give the Bucks a 35-34 edge, Portland reeled off an 8-3 spurt to take a 42-38 lead.
The Bucks quickly tied the game at 42 on Udrih's trey, but they could not retake the lead as Portland responded with six straight points to hold them off.
Milwaukee answered with a 6-2 swing to cut its deficit to two, 50-48, before the Trail Blazers closed out the half with a 13-6 run to carry a 63-54 lead into the break.
"I think it was a tale of two halves," Blazers interim head coach Kaleb Canales said. "You have got to give their defense credit, but we talked about our defense and we need to get better at it and we will get better at it."
Milwaukee improved to 2-6 in games played on Saturday this season...The game saw a total of 10 lead changes and seven ties...The Bucks held a 49-33 advantage on the glass and outscored Portland in the paint, 44-34.
04/08 02:20:30 ET