Matthews leads Portland over Milwaukee
Brandon Roy added 17, LaMarcus Aldridge 14, Dante Cunningham 14, Andre Miller 12 and Armon Johnson 10 for Portland, which was playing its third game in four nights.
Matthews was the first off the bench and had seven points in the first and then added nine more in the second quarter as he either slashed to the basket or hit from long range to shred the Bucks’ defense.
Leading 47-45 at the half, Portland capitalized on the Bucks’ poor shooting and porous defense to outscore Milwaukee 26-17 and take a 73-62 lead into the final quarter. It was the first time they led all season heading into the final period.
Corey Maggette led the Bucks with 16 points.
Milwaukee (1-3) was five for 21 from the floor in the third as Portland (4-1) took charge, shooting 12 of 21.
The Bucks opened the fourth with a back court violation, a pass off the backboard and an errant pass. Cunningham’s dunk made it 80-64 with 9:25 left to play. Johnson hit Cunningham with a pass that he stuffed with his back to the hoop and then Johnson hit a long jumper that pushed the lead to 84-68 midway through the quarter.
Bucks head coach Scott Skiles, whose team plays in Boston Wednesday night, cleared the bench with 6:38 to go and Portland ahead by 16.
It looked like the Bucks might be able to take advantage of the Trail Blazers since Milwaukee hadn’t played since their 98-88 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday sparked by Brandon Jennings’s first career triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Carlos Delfino’s 11 points in the first quarter helped Milwaukee build a 12-point lead, but the Trail Blazers and Matthews changed the momentum in the second and the Bucks never recovered.
Marcus Camby had 13 rebounds for Portland and Aldridge had five of the team’s eight blocks. The Trail Blazers are off to their best start since opening the 1999-2000 season 4-1.
Notes: The Bucks held a moment of silence for former Blazers player and assistant coach Maurice Lucas, 58, who died Sunday night after a battle with bladder cancer. He was a star forward at Marquette University for two years and led head coach Al McGuire’s team to the NCAA championship game in 1974. During the 1976-77 season, Lucas and teammate Bill Walton led the Trail Blazers to the NBA championship. ... Portland had 13 turnovers and has turned the ball over fewer times than its opponent in each game this season, averaging 13.5 per game. They have also held the opposition to 95 points or less in four of the five games so far.
Last updated: 3:41 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012