The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for showdown between ‘Dame’s’ Portland Trail Blazers and ‘The Greek Freak’s’ Milwaukee Bucks.
13:00 (AEDT), Sat 3rd Apr @ Moda Center, Portland
History: Played 128: Bucks 76 V Trail Blazers 52
Last meeting: February 1, 2021: Bucks 134 d Trail Blazers 106 at Fiserv Forum
Final Thoughts: Following four straight wins on the road, Portland Trail Blazers aim to keep their momentum going when they host the heavyweight Milwaukee Bucks.
The 29-18 Blazers are sixth in the Western Conference, boasting a handy gap between themselves and the chasing pack. Meanwhile, they are only a couple of wins off third.
Portland produced hard-fought wins in Miami, Orlando and Toronto, before completing their week-long roadstand with a 124-101 thrashing of Detroit. Damian Lillard went off for 33 points and 10 assists.
CJ McCollum is nine games into his return from a lengthy injury spell, the Trail Blazers winning seven of those. He has eased the nightly load on linchpin ‘Dame’, averaging 26 points and 6.5 assists in their last four games. Ex-Raptor Normal Powell has made an immediate in his three games since joining the Blazers.
The 30-17 Bucks, third in the East, broke a three-game losing streak with a 112-97 road win over the depleted Lakers two days ago.
Jrue Holiday’s rich vein of form continued with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and four steals. Giannis Antetokounmpo (25 pts, 10 rebounds) also made his presence felt.
Bucks look to complete regular season double against Blazers
The Bucks have won eight of their last nine against the Blazers, including the last four straight by an average margin of 25 points.
Portland were subjected to a 134-106 beatdown when they visited Milwaukee in early-February. Jrue Holiday (22 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast) top-scored while Bobby Portis (21 pts, 8 reb) starred off the bench with Giannis (18 pts, 6 ast) taking an early mark. Blazers forward Nassir Little racked up a career-high 30 points.
The Trail Blazers are 15-9 at home; the Bucks are 12-10 on the road.
While Milwaukee are the better-credentialled team, Portland are the best they have been form- and health-wise this season. The Bucks have been shaky of late and the home dogs are the value option here.
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