Giannis and Lillard’s glowing performance gives Bucks victory over Portland
NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo made a tiebreaking tip-in with 18.5 seconds left, Damian Lillard scored 31 points against his former team and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-102 on Sunday.
Lillard played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Trail Blazers before requesting a trade over the summer and eventually landing in Milwaukee just before the start of training camp. He faced Portland for the first time.
The Bucks trailed 81-55 early in the third quarter, the largest deficit overcome by a winning team in the NBA this season.
Antetokounmpo had 33 points. Jerami Grant led Portland with 22 points, and Malcolm Brogdon had 18 points and 12 assists.
A shot-clock violation enabled Milwaukee to get the ball in a tie game with 39.3 seconds left. Lillard missed a 3-pointer and Bobby Portis couldn't connect on a putback attempt, but Antetokounmpo got the tip-in to put the Bucks ahead with 18.5 seconds left.
The Blazers appeared to have a chance to tie it when Antetokounmpo appeared to foul out on Malcolm Brogdon's drive with 14.6 seconds left. Bucks coach Adrian Griffin challenged the call, and the foul was overturned upon a replay review.
The overturn led to a jump ball between Milwaukee's Brook Lopez and Portland's Deandre Ayton. The ball ended up in the hands of Lillard, who made two free throws with 10.5 seconds remaining.
After Portland's Shaedon Sharpe missed a 3-point attempt, Lillard made two more free throws to complete the scoring.
Sharpe added 17 points to the Trail Blazers, and Ayton had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Rookie Scoot Henderson had a career-high 13 points.
Milwaukee played without Khris Middleton because of tendinitis in his left Achilles.
"No timeline," Bucks coach Griffin said. "Just day to day. We'll see how responds to treatment. I think things are promising."