|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , November 21, 2019
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attendance: 17,385
Bucks happy to be home against Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks
- Milwaukee has won five in a row at home versus Portland, one shy of its longest active streak versus any team (6 straight home wins vs. Detroit). The Bucks have made 15+ threes in their last two games against the Blazers, one shy of their longest-ever streak versus any team (15+ 3PM in last 3 games vs. Clippers).
- The Blazers started 2-0 on the road but have gone 2-6 away from home since. Portland averaged 121.5 points on 52.9-percent shooting in its first two road games but has scored 107.9 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from the field in the eight road games since.
- Four of Portland's five wins this season have come when CJ McCollum has scored at least 20 points (4-5 record in those games). McCollum is 18-for-40 (.450) from three-point range over his last four games after going 5-for-29 (.172) over his previous six games.
- The Bucks have played an NBA-low four home games this season (3-1). Milwaukee is 4-1 against Western Conference teams (all road games). Last season, the Bucks were 11-4 at home against teams from the West, trailing only the Sixers (12-3) for the best inter-conference home record by a team from the East.
- Milwaukee is riding a five-game win streak, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the longest active streak. During this win streak, the Bucks have a point differential of +10.4 per game, second best in the NBA since November 10 (Mia: +14.8).
- Giannis Antetokounmpo has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in all 14 of his games this season. Only three active players have done this in their first 15 games of a season: Rudy Gobert (first 18 games in 2018-19), Andre Drummond (first 16 in 2017-18/first 15 in 2015-16) and Kevin Love (first 15 in 2011-12).
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The Milwaukee Bucks have made themselves at home during their early road-heavy schedule, so much so that one has to wonder if the team is anxious to return to Fiserv Forum.
The Bucks look to continue their run of dominance on Thursday when they open a four-game homestand against the Portland Trail Blazers, who are headed in the other direction with losses in eight of their last 10 contests.
Milwaukee, which has won a season-high five in a row overall and eight of 10 on the road, has played a league-low four home games in 2019-20.
"We feel like we've been out for a long time, so it's going to be great to be home," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Our fans and the arena is so great in Milwaukee and the energy we get from them. We'll need it (Thursday night)."
Giannis Antetokounmpo has made himself at home regardless of venue.
The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player collected 33 points and 11 rebounds to pace Milwaukee to a 135-127 victory at Atlanta on Wednesday. Antetokounmpo has recorded 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in eight of his past nine contests, and he has 14 consecutive double-doubles to start the season.
Eric Bledsoe helped keep the Hawks at bay by scoring 17 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter.
"You saw the first three quarters, I was horrible," Bledsoe said on Fox Sports Wisconsin. "I was turning the ball over left and right. Missing shots, just felt like I couldn't get it right.
"So I just stayed calm. Stuck with what I've been preparing for and try to finish the game strong."
While the Bucks are ascending in the standings, the Trail Blazers are plummeting after dropping a 115-104 decision at New Orleans on Tuesday. The loss spoiled the debut of Carmelo Anthony and sent Portland to a 1-2 mark on its six-game road trip.
"It felt great just to be back into the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong," the 35-year-old Anthony said after making just 4 of 14 shots during his 10-point performance.
"As far as conditioning, though, I felt absolutely great out there. There was minor things, but it was more of the flow of things and getting used to how the team plays and sets and getting used to the guys on the team."
Damian Lillard, who averages a team-best 28.6 points and 7.1 assists, will miss his second consecutive game due to back spasms on Thursday. The four-time All-Star has been nursing a balky back since Portland's 114-106 home loss to Toronto on Nov. 13, per Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl.
Fellow guard Anfernee Simons (left ankle), who replaced Lillard in the lineup, and center Hassan Whiteside (right hip) are considered questionable to face Milwaukee.
The Trail Blazers made news off the court on Wednesday by waiving six-time All-Star Pau Gasol, who did not play a game for the team this season while attempting to recover from surgery on his left foot. The 39-year-old veteran will continue his rehabilitation in Portland while discussing a coaching job with the team.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 21, 2019