Week In Review: Milwaukee Bucks Break Even Despite Losing Jabari Parker

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Dec 17, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) passes the ball as Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight (11) defends during the first quarter of the game at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, Dec. 17: Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers

This was one of those “uh-oh” games.  Everyone had heard the news about Jabari actually tearing his ACL and not spraining his knee like initial reports and tests showed.  The Bucks were without their No. 2 overall draft pick against one of the best teams in the league in their house.  This had a 41-point drubbing in Toronto type of feel to it.

I was pleasantly surprised with how Milwaukee hung with one of the best teams in the NBA despite the loss.

Portland defeated the Bucks 104-97.

Milwaukee had a 70-68 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Portland went on an 11-0 in the middle of the fourth quarter to eventually pull away from the Bucks.

This game was very similar to the one Milwaukee lost in Cleveland a few weeks ago.  The Bucks played both of these teams close for three and a half quarters, and then allowed runs in the fourth quarter to put them out of reach.

While LaMarcus Aldridge had himself a game (23 points, 15 rebounds) the Bucks managed the scoring in the paint fairly well despite not having their starting power forward.  Milwaukee and Portland each scored 40 points in the paint.

Where Milwaukee lost was rebounding.  Portland had 20 more rebounds (52-32) and had 11 more offensive boards (16-5).  Forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Thomas Robinson had a combined 31 rebounds in Wednesday night’s contest.

This was a point of concern before Parker got injured, and it seems like it will continue to be a weakness for the rest of the year.

Wednesday also saw the first regular-season action for Bucks rookie forward Johnny O’Bryant.  O’Bryant had been out since Oct. 9 with a knee sprain.  Although he only played four minutes and scored two points, it was a positive sign to see O’Bryant getting back out on the court.

Brandon Knight led the way for Milwaukee, scoring 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting.  He had help from the bench once again, with Khris Middleton scoring 17 and Jerryd Bayless adding 10.

It was nice to see Milwaukee playing hard and playing together Wednesday night, their first full game without Jabari.  I’m not sure what Jason Kidd is telling his guys during practices or in team huddles, but by God is he getting the most out of them right now.

The loss dropped Milwaukee to 13-13.

Milwaukee would travel to Sacramento to play the Kings Thursday night.

Next: Kings Overcome Cousins