November 22, 2019 / 3:56 AM / 24 days ago

Giannis' triple-double leads Bucks past Blazers

EditorsNote: rewords eighth graf; fixes to “16 points” in last graf

Nov 21, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo shoots during warmups prior to the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 24 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists as the host Milwaukee Bucks posted a 137-129 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

The triple-double was the second of the season for Antetokounmpo, who collected 30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in Milwaukee’s 117-111 win at Houston on Oct. 24.

Eric Bledsoe scored 30 points and Pat Connaughton added a season-high 18 to help the Bucks notch their season-high sixth straight win and their 10th victory in 11 outings. The point total was a season best for Milwaukee.

CJ McCollum highlighted his 37-point performance by making five 3-pointers, and Skal Labissiere added 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Trail Blazers, who were without four-time All-Star Damian Lillard (back) for the second consecutive contest.

Carmelo Anthony scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half while playing in his second game with Portland after a year away from the NBA.

Labissiere was credited with a layup following a goaltending call on Antetokounmpo before sinking a pair of jumpers as Portland closed to within 114-110 with 8:26 to go.

McCollum added a pair of jumpers to bring the Trail Blazers within two, but Brook Lopez and Wesley Matthews each drained a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to build the lead back to eight with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Antetokounmpo made a pair of baskets and Bledsoe and Donte DiVincenzo added layups to push Milwaukee’s lead to 131-119 just under two minutes later. DiVincenzo received a lead pass from Antetokounmpo, marking the latter’s 15th assist of the night to eclipse his previous high set against Brooklyn on March 13, 2016.

Milwaukee opened the contest by making its first seven shots — including three from 3-point range — to seize a 17-6 lead before Portland answered with a 12-2 run of its own.

The Bucks bounced back as all nine players found the scoresheet to lift the team to a 37-27 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Milwaukee boosted its advantage to 16 points midway into the second quarter and claimed a 72-58 lead at intermission, marking an NBA-best seventh time that it has scored at least 70 points in a half.

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