MILWAUKEE (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points, Damian Lillard added 17 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 91-82 Wednesday night for their eighth straight win.
Wesley Matthews had 15 points, all in the first half, to help Portland complete a sweep of a four-game Eastern Conference road trip. The Trail Blazers have won 10 of 12 to start the season.
Luke Ridnour scored 13 points to lead the Bucks, who lost their sixth in row and eight of 10 on the season. They last won on Nov. 6 against Cleveland. Portland’s last loss came a night earlier against Houston.
Portland held the lead throughout the second half but the Trail Blazers had difficulty pulling away from the struggling Bucks. Milwaukee pulled within six points late in the fourth on Caron Butler’s 3-pointer. However, Lillard had a breakaway dunk and a 3 of his own to put Portland up 89-78 — matching the Blazers’ largest lead of the game.
The Bucks got no closer than seven again.
Portland opened the third quarter on a 8-0 run to take a 61-51 lead. The Blazers took an 11-point lead late in the quarter when Nicolas Batum hit a 3 as he fell to the court.
The Bucks responded as Ersan Ilyasova scored his first points of the contest when he made a 3, then followed it with a leaner in the lane to cut the deficit to 70-64 at the end of the quarter.
Portland held a 53-51 lead at the half. The second quarter ended with an exchange of traditional three-point plays.
Lillard drew a foul after making a reverse layup on a strong drive to the basket. Ridnour then made an acrobatic floater along the baseline while being fouled as the clock wound down. Ridnour, who has been battling a back injury, had 11 first-half points for the Bucks.
Milwaukee shot 50 percent over the first two quarters, compared to nearly 49 percent for the Blazers. Milwaukee finished the game at 44 percent, while Portland connected on just 41 percent of its shots.
Matthews, returning to the arena where he starred in college for Marquette, scored 13 points in the first quarter, including a trio of 3-point field goals, but the Bucks held a 24-23 lead.
NOTES: Ilyasova and Butler returned to the Bucks’ lineup after missing time because of injuries. Ilyasova saw his first action since Nov. 2. Brandon Knight remained out with a sore hamstring. Ten players saw action in the opening period for the Bucks, who dressed only eight players for a Nov. 13 game against Orlando. … Portland has won eight in a row in the same season for the first time since a 13-game streak in December 2007.