MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away in the second half to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-111 on Monday night.
Antetokounmpo made 16 of his 24 field goal attempts to go along with seven rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes. Milwaukee improved to 12-4 and 9-1 at home.
Bucks guard Jrue Holiday scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, and Grayson Allen added 17 points and eight rebounds. Holiday opened the quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 96-79 lead and had the first nine Milwaukee points in the period.
Anfernee Simons paced the Trail Blazers (10-7) with 29 points and Josh Hart had 17 points. Jusuf Nurkic contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds. Portland lost its third straight game.
Portland took a 32-30 lead after the first quarter while shooting 58.3% from the field (14 of 24).
The teams traded the lead eight times in the first half with the Bucks taking a 63-61 edge at halftime. Antetokounmpo elevated over Nurkic for an emphatic dunk but Simons sank a baseline shot just before the buzzer to close the gap to two points.
Simons scored 16 points in the half and Nurkic added 12. Antetokounmpo and Portis each had 13 for Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo scored 19 points in the third quarter as the Bucks extended their lead to 93-79 entering the final period.
Trail Blazers: Rookie Shaedon Sharpe started in place of point guard Damian Lillard, who was out with a strained soleus muscle in his right lower leg. Lillard will be re-evaluated in one to two weeks, according to the Trail Blazers. The 19-year-old Sharpe, the seventh overall pick in the 2022 draft, was averaging 9.7 points in 15 games. He had two points on 1-of-9 shooting in 27 minutes.
Bucks: Pat Connaughton made his season debut after missing Milwaukee’s first 15 games with a right calf strain. “He’s someone we’ve learned to rely on,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. Connaughton entered the game at the start of the second quarter and finished with seven points in 16 minutes … Antetokounmpo was listed on the injury report as probable with calf tightness but was able to play. … Khris Middleton and Wes Matthews scrimmaged with G-League Wisconsin Herd players earlier Monday. Middleton has not played this season following left wrist ligament surgery, and Matthews missed his third straight game with a right hamstring strain. Budenholzer gave no timetable on their return.
Trail Blazers: Play at Cleveland on Wednesday.
Bucks: Host Chicago on Wednesday.