Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Milwaukee Bucks’ Damian Lillard (0) shoots previous Portland Path Blazers’ Duop Reath (26) and Matisse Thybulle (4) through the second half of an NBA basketball recreation, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photograph/Aaron Gash)

MILWAUKEE — Damian Lillard acknowledged his first recreation towards his former workforce felt slightly bit completely different at first.

For a lot of the day, it additionally was shaping up as an embarrassing loss for the Milwaukee Bucks. It ended up with their largest comeback in additional than a decade.

Giannis Antetokounmpo made a tiebreaking tip-in with 18.5 seconds left and had 33 factors, 16 rebounds and 6 assists and the Bucks overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Portland Path Blazers 108-102 on Sunday.

Lillard added 31 factors and sealed the victory by making 4 free throws within the closing 10 1/2 seconds. The seven-time all-NBA guard performed the primary 11 seasons of his profession with the Path Blazers earlier than requesting a commerce over the summer time and ultimately touchdown in Milwaukee.

Main as much as the sport, Lillard downplayed the prospect of going through his previous workforce for the primary time and famous it could be completely different Jan. 31, when the Bucks go to Portland.

“As soon as I walked in, I noticed a variety of acquainted faces,” Lillard mentioned after the sport. “I thought of going to the guests’ locker room for a second. I used to be like, ‘Man, it is a little bit completely different.’ Then once we obtained to the courtroom, I noticed all people, and it was a bizarre feeling. However as soon as we began taking part in, I type of obtained over it fast. Similar to earlier than, I didn’t suppose it could be an enormous factor or a loopy factor, and it wasn’t.”

Watch the @Bucks erase a 26 POINT second-half deficit in one of many WILDEST comebacks of the season 🤯

Giannis: 33 PTS, 16 REB, 6 AST
Dame: 31 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST

— NBA (@NBA) November 26, 2023

The Bucks trailed 81-55 early within the third quarter, the biggest deficit overcome by a profitable workforce within the NBA this season. It represented the Bucks’ largest come-from-behind victory since Nov. 26, 2012, after they got here again from 27 factors down in a 93-92 victory over Chicago.

Portland overhauled its roster to such an extent through the offseason that solely a handful of Blazers had performed alongside Lillard final season. Even so, the Blazers appeared impressed early on.

The Blazers entered the day ranked final within the NBA in 3-point share (.324) and next-to-last in field-goal share (.434), but they shot 52.1% total and 10 of 17 on 3-point makes an attempt within the first half.

However they shot simply 27.9% within the second half and missed 12 of their final 13 makes an attempt from 3-point vary.

“To be a superb workforce, a very actually good workforce, contending workforce on this league, you’ve obtained to have composure,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups mentioned. “Our composure was good for probably the most half, however when it actually actually counted, we got here unraveled slightly bit.”

Jerami Grant led Portland with 22 factors, and Malcolm Brogdon had 18 factors and 12 assists.

A shot-clock violation enabled Milwaukee to get the ball in a tie recreation with 39.3 seconds left. Lillard missed a 3-pointer and Bobby Portis couldn’t join on a putback try, however Antetokounmpo obtained the tip-in.

“He’s one of many biggest gamers to play this recreation, and he confirmed it tonight,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin mentioned about Antetokounmpo. “We have been type of useless within the water, looking, looking for some momentum. It was a gritty win.”

Portland appeared to have an opportunity to tie it when Antetokounmpo was known as for his sixth foul on Brogdon’s drive with 14.6 seconds left. Griffin challenged the decision, and the foul was overturned upon a replay assessment.

The overturn led to a soar ball between Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez and Portland’s Deandre Ayton. The ball ended up within the palms of Lillard, who made two free throws.

After Portland’s Shaedon Sharpe missed a 3-point try, Lillard made two extra free throws to finish the scoring.

Sharpe had 17 factors for the Path Blazers, and Ayton had 14 factors and 13 rebounds. Rookie Scoot Henderson had a career-high 13 factors.

Milwaukee performed with out Khris Middleton due to tendinitis in his left Achilles.

“No timeline,” Griffin mentioned. “Simply everyday. We’ll see how he responds to therapy. I feel issues are promising.”

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Path Blazers: At Indiana on Monday evening.

Bucks: At Miami on Tuesday evening in an In-Season Match recreation.

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