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03/19/2013 11:33 PM EDT
Jennings and Ellis lead Bucks over Blazers 102-95
MILWAUKEE 102, PORTLAND 95

By DAVE BOEHLER
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks had to hold back a strong
rally after pulling off one of their own two days earlier.



Brandon Jennings scored 24 points and Monta Ellis added 21 to
help Milwaukee hang on for a 102-95 victory over the Portland
Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.



Milwaukee rallied from an 11-point deficit at the start of the
fourth quarter Sunday against Orlando and went on to a 115-109
victory over the visiting Magic.



"That's been our main concern," said Ellis, who was hit hard on
his left hand late in the game but said X-rays were negative.
"We just wanted to come out with a lot of energy. We didn't want
to play with this team and try to climb back like we had to do
(Sunday). They made a run, which this is the NBA. But we were
able to close the game out."



Ellis added nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and
matched a career high with three blocks for Milwaukee, which
outscored Portland 31-8 in the second quarter.



The Blazers finished with their fewest points in any period this
season after shooting a woeful 2 for 20 from the field to go
with six turnovers in the quarter. It was also the lowest total
the Bucks gave up in any quarter.



The Bucks took a 58-31 lead into halftime before Portland fought
back with 64 second-half points to make things interesting.



So what did Portland coach Terry Stotts say at halftime?



"I said go out there and play your butt off like you usually do
and see what happens," Stotts said. "Twenty seven is a big hole.
On the road, it is a bigger hole. I didn't know how the second
half was going to go."



Wesley Matthews hit a career high seven 3-pointers and scored 28
points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points and 14 rebounds
for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the 10th time in their last
11 road games.



"If you are going to come back from 27 down, how many times is
that going to happen?" Matthews said. "We just put our heads
down and we fought. We did what we were supposed to do to start
the game in the second half and gave ourselves a chance."



Nicolas Batum hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut
Milwaukee's lead to 96-88 with 2:36 to play and Matthews added
another to get Portland within 100-93 with 1:33 remaining, but
Aldridge lost the ball in the paint on the Blazers' next
possession.



Portland missed its next two 3-point attempts before Jennings
sank two free throws with 26.2 seconds to play to seal it.



"Maybe fatigue for us, I don't know," Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan
said. "We weren't quite as sharp defensively. We had been pretty
good for most of the game. But then they started finding some
spots and getting free, we were scrambling around a little bit,
and they took advantage. They made shots. They made some good
shots, some tough ones."



Milwaukee opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run, while
Portland missed its first 10 shots of the period. The Bucks held
a 27-23 lead when J.J. Redick hit a 3-pointer and added two free
throws before Mike Dunleavy's 3 gave them a 35-23 lead.



Three of Milwaukee's next four baskets were layups, including
one by Gustavo Ayon that capped the 16-0 run and gave the Bucks
a 43-23 lead with 6:40 remaining in the half.



It took until 6:03 remained for Portland to finally score on two
free throws by J.J. Hickson. Aldridge's tip-in with 3:56 to go
was Portland's first made basket in the second.



It was so bad for Portland, Hickson accidentally threw the ball
off Matthews trying to save it from going out of bounds with
about 2:40 left and Matthews' baseline dunk attempt was blocked
by Ellis with 46 seconds left.



Portland scored 12 of the first 14 points of the third quarter
to get the deficit down to 60-43 on a layup by Batum with 8:35
to play, but a 3-pointer by Redick capped a 12-3 run that gave
the Bucks a 77-57 lead with 4.5 seconds left.



"When guys are hitting shots all around, it makes everything
much easier," Ellis said. "That's how we got the big lead,
sharing the ball. Everybody was in a groove, everybody was
feeling good."



Notes: Milwaukee's Luc Mbah a Moute (sprained toe) and Ersan
Ilyasova (left hip pain) did not play. Ilyasova finished with 27
points and 14 rebounds in a 110-104 victory at Portland Jan. 19.
... Portland's previous low for points in a quarter was 12, set
three times this season. ... Samuel Dalembert scored 10 of
Milwaukee's first 14 points. ... Portland fell to 9-25 on the
road. ... Milwaukee has won four straight games against Portland
for the first time since the 1984-85 season. ... The Bucks are
41-16 against the Blazer at home.

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