Tuesday night marked Carmelo Anthony’s first game as a Portland Trail Blazer. He was absent from the league for a little over a year after the Houston Rockets released him. His debut wasn’t very impressive as he shot only twenty-eight percent from the field, scoring just 10 points against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Blazers ended up losing that game, 115-104.
That loss was the second straight for the Portland team but they will look to grab a victory tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks in their fourth of six road games. The Bucks, on the other hand, are seeking their sixth straight win. This meeting will mark the first of two times that these teams will see each other this season.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:
The Portland Trail Blazers and the Milwaukee Bucks have battled each other a grand total of 125 times as the Trail Blazers won 52 games while the Bucks went on to grab 73 victories.
Portland Trail Blazers:
-Zach Collins (shoulder; 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 47.4 FG%, 42.9 3P%)
-Damian Lillard (back; 28.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 7.1 APG, 45.2 FG%, 35.7 3P%)
-Jusuf Nurkic (leg)
-Hassan Whiteside (hip; 14.9 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 58.7 FG%)
-Moses Brown (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
-Jaylen Hoard (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Khris Middleton (thigh; 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 46.8 FG%, 39.3 3P%)
-D.J. Wilson (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 18.2 3P%)
-Kyle Korver (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.1 APG, 40.0 FG%, 40.4 3P%)
-Thanasis Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 50.0 FG%)
-Cameron Reynolds (G-League)
-Frank Mason (G-League)
The Bucks would have control of the game in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, keeping the Blazers to forty percent. Eric Bledsoe chalked up 14 points while knocking down two three-pointers in the process. Last season’s MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo helped out with eleven points, along with nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.
Wesley Matthews had nine points which he earned all from beyond the arc while both Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo scored four points each. Illinois-native Sterling Brown played the most minutes off the bench as he earned himself eight points.
On the other end of the floor, C.J. McCollum dropped fourteen points, hitting two three-pointers in the process. He also had five rebounds, five assists, and 2 blocks while Carmelo Anthony contributed with ten points, including two three-pointers. Skal Labissiere played 12 minutes off the bench as he got hot for 14 points but it was the home team who went into the locker room with a huge 72-58 advantage.
The Oregon ball club would attempt a comeback in the second half as they went on a 71-65 run, shooting fifty-seven percent from the field. During that run, McCollum continued to impress as he got hot for 23 points, only missing seven of his seventeen shots attempted. Anthony made up for his debut as he scored eight more points, finishing with 18 points in total.
As for the Bucks, Bledsoe scored 16 more points while Antetokounmpo helped out with 13. Pat Connaughton chalked up seven points off the bench as the Milwaukee team spoiled the Portland Trail Blazers late comeback attempt, 137-129. Eric Bledsoe finished the contest with 30 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and one steal while C.J. McCollum settled for 37 points, 6 rebounds, a career-high-tying 10 assists, and a career-high tying 3 blocks.
The Portland Trail Blazers will head to Ohio to take on Kevin Love (18.7 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 45.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-10) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. This will mark the first of two games between these teams this season.
The Milwaukee Bucks will host Andre Drummond (18.6 PPG, 16.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 54.0 FG%, 00.0 3P%) and the Detroit Pistons (4-10) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. This will be the first of four times that they play each other this season.