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Trail Blazers 104, Bucks 97



PORTLAND, Ore.– Guard Damian Lillard and forward LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 52 points to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 104-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

Lillard scored 29 points and Aldridge collected 23 points along with 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers (20-6), who won their third straight game.

Guard Brandon Knight topped the Bucks (13-13) with 24 points, while forward Khris Middleton added 17 points.

Portland forward Thomas Robinson came off the bench to match his career high in points (15) and grab a season-high 16 boards.

Lillard’s 17 points were enough to give Portland a two-point lead at intermission, the Blazers rallying from a 10-point second-quarter deficit.

Milwaukee started the third quarter on a 9-2 run to go on top 50-45, but Portland answered with a 10-1 spurt to go back in front 55-51. The Bucks regained the lead at 70-68 heading into the final period.

It was 79-79 when forward Nicolas Batum drained a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run, pushing the Blazers ahead 88-79 with 4:05 remaining. Milwaukee got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

The Bucks jumped to a 10-2 lead in the game’s first three minutes, the Blazers making only one of their first eight shots from the field. Milwaukee went 11 for 18 in rolling to a 25-18 advantage after one quarter while Portland heated up only marginally, making 8 of 26 shots over the first 12 minutes.

Milwaukee upped the margin to 39-29 midway through the second quarter when the Blazers made a move, outscoring the visitors 14-2 over the final three minutes to take a 43-41 edge into halftime.

NOTES: Milwaukee played its first game without F Jabari Parker. The No. 2 pick in the June draft suffered a season-ending knee injury in Monday’s 96-94 victory at Phoenix. Veteran F Jared Dudley started in Parker’s absence. … Portland was playing its first game without starting C Robin Lopez, who broke his right hand in Monday’s victory over San Antonio. Thomas Robinson started in place of Lopez. … Coaches Terry Stotts of Portland and Jason Kidd of Milwaukee were together for four seasons in Dallas (2008-12) and won an NBA championship together (2010-11). Stotts was the chief assistant to Rick Carlisle and Kidd was the Mavericks’ veteran point guard. “One of the smartest players I’ve been around,” Stotts said. “He saw the game, saw plays before they happened. His basketball instincts were so unique. You never know what personalities wants to get into coaching, but it didn’t surprise me about Jason because of his basketball acumen and acuity.” … Bucks F Ersan Ilyasova, who has missed the last seven games with a broken nose, is back to non-contact duty in practice and is getting close to a return. “We’ll see as the week goes on,” Kidd said. “It’s not his first time breaking his nose. He’s used to the mask, but it’ll take a little time.”

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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