The Trail Blazers are among the best in the West, but against the Milwaukee Bucks – the second best team in the East – Portland certainly did not show it.
The Blazers' short win streak was spoiled by a 143-100 loss to the Bucks on Wednesday.
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 has big consequences for both teams. The Bucks (13-4) inch closer to the Toronto Raptors, who are atop the standings with a 14-4 record after a 124-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks, and the Blazers (12-6) have been passed 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.
The Warriors slumped to a fourth straight loss with a 123-95 defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Embiid helps 76ers to another home win
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.
Layman, Aminu poor for Blazers
Portland did not receive much help from two of their starters. Jake Layman made just one shot and only played nine minutes. However, with more time, Al-Farouq Aminu did not do any better. He finished with four points thanks to a one-for-13 shooting night to go with a pair of free throws.
Carter brings up 25,000 points
How else should a player reach the 25,000-career point milestone? With a dunk, of course. At least that is what Hawks veteran guard Vince Carter did to become only the 22nd player to complete the feat.
The Lakers-Cavaliers matchup came down to the final seconds. But, LeBron James' return was not spoiled, thanks to some late defensive help from JaVale McGee.
Charlotte Hornets 127-109 Indiana Pacers
Philadelphia 76ers 121-120 New Orleans Pelicans
Toronto Raptors 124-108 Atlanta Hawks
New York Knicks 117-109 Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls 124-116 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers 109-105 Cleveland Cavaliers
Houston Rockets 126-124 Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks 143-100 Portland Trail Blazers
Denver Nuggets 103-101 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks 119-113 Brooklyn Nets
Memphis Grizzlies 104-103 San Antonio Spurs
Sacramento Kings 119-110 Utah Jazz
Oklahoma City Thunder 123-95 Golden State Warriors
Trail Blazers at Warriors
On the heels of the loss to the Bucks for the Blazers, Friday's matchup between two of the top teams in the West will be interesting to say the least. The Blazers are barely above .500 (5-4) on the road, and it will take the efforts from all of Portland's starting five for the Blazers to get back to their winning ways.
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