NBA wrap: Bucks rout Blazers; Grizzles now atop West with win over Spurs

The Trail Blazers are among the best in the West, but against the Bucks — the second best team in the East — Portland certainly didn’t show it.

In an off night, the Blazers’ short win streak was spoiled by a 143-100 loss to the Bucks. Milwaukee’s efforts were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 33 points and added 16 rebounds for a double-double. Khris Middleton pitched in 21 points, and both Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon netted 16. 

For Portland, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard led the team with 22 points apiece. Jusuf Nurkic was the only other Blazer to score in double digits. He finished with 16 points. The loss was the largest by a conference leader since the East and West conferences were established in 1970-71.

The outcome had big consequences for both teams. The Bucks (13-4) inch closer to the Raptors, who are atop the standings with a 14-4 record after a 124-108 win over the Hawks, and the Blazers (12-6) have been passed up by the 12-5 Grizzlies.

Memphis took down San Antonio on two late free throws by Marc Gasol.

The Grizzles took advantage of the Blazers’ worst loss of the season and used Mike Conley’s 30-point night for their fifth consecutive win to move ahead of both Portland and Golden State.

Studs of the night

The 76ers remain undefeated at home after a narrow 121-120 victory over the Pelicans. In Philadelphia’s efforts to move to 10-0 at Wells Fargo Center, Joel Embiid scored a game-high 31 points. He finished with a double-double after grabbing 19 rebounds — 14 on the defensive end — and had a pair of assists and blocks by the night’s end.

Despite the loss, Anthony Davis scored 12 points to put his career total just above 10,000. He became the eighth-youngest player in NBA history to reach the milestone, and accomplished the feat with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard and Bob McAdoo — the only other players to do so at a younger age.

Duds of the night

Remember the Blazers 43-point loss? Well, Portland didn’t receive much help from two of its starters. Jake Layman scored made just one shot and only played nine minutes. However, with more time Al-Farouq Aminu didn’t do any better. He finished with four points thanks to a 1-for-13 shooting night to go with a pair of free throws. 

Highlights

How else should a player reach the 25,000-career point milestone? With a dunk, of course. At least that’s what Hawks veteran guard Vince Carter did to become only the 22nd player to complete the feat.

The Lakers-Cavaliers matchup game down to the final seconds, because why wouldn’t it? But, LeBron James’ return wasn’t spoiled, thanks to some late defensive help from JaVale McGee.

What’s next?

Trail Blazers (12-6) at Warriors (12-7) 10:30 p.m. ET — On the heels of the loss to the Bucks for the Blazers and another loss In Golden State, Friday’s matchup between two of the top teams in the West will be interesting to say the least. The Warriors have lost only two games at Oracle Arena — including the 123-95 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday — and at the same time, are trying to bounce back from a tough stretch. The Blazers are barely above .500 (5-4) on the road, and it’ll take the efforts from all of Portland’s starting five for the Blazers to get back to their winning ways.