Preview: Bucks at Trail Blazers
The Milwaukee Bucks have matched the best nine-game start in franchise history and look to add another victory when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. Milwaukee has won eight of its first nine games to join the 1971-72 squad led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the franchise’s top mark.
The Bucks continued their strong opening stretch by rolling to a 144-109 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Milwaukee set a franchise record with 22 made 3-pointers and also registered its most points in a non-overtime game since racking up 147 against the San Antonio Spurs on March 18, 1979. Portland has won four of its last five games and pounded the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-81 on Sunday to improve to 7-3. “To be sitting where we are now, I’m sure people didn’t expect it,” star point guard Damian Lillard told reporters. “I think we’re playing good basketball. We’ve been pretty consistent with the things that we need to do to win games and it’s showing.”
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee), NBCS Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE BUCKS (8-1): Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his second triple-double of the season and 12th of his career with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in the rout of the Kings. Antetokounmpo was one of eight players to reach double digits against Sacramento as solid ball movement was evident throughout the easy victory. “Hopefully, one of the keys to Giannis being great is everybody around him being great,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “We can also talk about a lot of other guys who played well, too. So, that’s a great sign for Giannis and a great sign for us.”
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (7-3): The victory over Minnesota came one night after a stunning home loss against the Los Angeles Lakers and Lillard liked how his team bounced back against the Timberwolves, who were without guards Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose. “I think it speaks to our maturity,” Lillard told reporters. “In the past, we might have let that one slip (Saturday) and then come back and been, I guess, too emotional about it, like a younger team would be, kind of holding on to it. It would carry over to (Sunday).” Center Jusuf Nurkic has posted back-to-back double-doubles after recording 19 points and 12 rebounds against Minnesota and has five for the season.
1. The Bucks won both of last season’s meetings and prevailed in six of the past seven.
2. Milwaukee SF Khris Middleton has made three or more 3-pointers in eight of the first nine games.
3. Portland backup SG Nik Stauskas (quadriceps) is questionable after departing Sunday’s game.