Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in just 30 minutes, as the Milwaukee Bucks avenged their worst loss of the season with a complete annihilation of the Portland Trail Blazers, 143-100.
The Bucks led by 11 after one quarter, 22 at the half and 30 after three and by as many as 46 in a fourth quarter that saw nothing but bench players for both sides.
Antetokounmpo sat out the entire fourth quarter, as the Bucks avenged a 118-103 loss at Portland Nov. 6, their only double-digit loss of the season.
Playing more like they did when they opened the season 7-0, the Bucks led right from the start when Antetokounmpo dunked off his own miss. He had four dunks in the first quarter, as the Bucks led, 31-20.
The game marked a welcome change from the previous three in which the Bucks trailed by double digits in the first half of each game. This time was much different.
Antetokounmpo had 25 points by the half, as the Bucks lead, 72-50. He scored four points in the final 2.9 seconds — a fast-break dunk, and a buzzer-beating, turnaround jumper off an inbounds pass after the Blazers turned the ball over.
The third quarter seemed to drag on, and the Blazers trimmed a 28-point deficit to 21 with 2 1/2 minutes left. The Bucks closed with three straight 3-pointers — the first two by Tony Snell and the last by Thon Maker.
Instead of the Blazers possibly closing the third with a run to get back into it, the Bucks’ closing spurt made Portland coach Terry Stotts, the former Bucks coach, play his reserves in the fourth quarter. The Trail Blazers were playing the second of back-to-back nights, having won in New York the night before.
Khris Middleton added 21 for the Bucks, and Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 each.
In the loss in Portland 15 days earlier, Bledsoe and Brogdon were outscored, 44-9, by the Portland backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Lillard and McCollum each had 22 to lead the Blazers.
The Bucks (13-4) and Blazers (12-6) entered the game with the second- and third-best records in the NBA.
The Bucks scored huge margins in the paint (72-38) and on the boards (59-39).