PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Wesley Matthews didn’t know whether to be frustrated or relieved over the Trail Blazers’ overtime victory over Milwaukee.
Matthews had 26 points, including a key 3-pointer in overtime, and Portland withstood the tenacious Bucks 120-115 on Tuesday night.
“We put ourselves there,” Matthews said about the threat from Milwaukee. “But we got ourselves out.”
Robin Lopez added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Blazers, who had been in a funk with losses in five of their last six games. Portland (44-24) has also struggled with the absence of injured forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Blazers pulled it out with a surge in overtime. The team’s 22 points in the extra period was a franchise record.
Brandon Knight had 24 points and Ramon Sessions added a season-high 23 for Milwaukee, which lost its fifth straight. The Bucks (13-55) are just 2-24 against the Western Conference.
Despite the worst record in the NBA, the Bucks gave the Blazers trouble for most of the game. There were 23 lead changes in regulation, and neither team was able to pull ahead by double digits.
“We could have come and laid down - our record is our record - but we kept fighting and we’ll continue to fight and try to grow as a team,” Sessions said.
Sessions, acquired by the Bucks at the trade deadline, had a chance to win it with a jumper at the buzzer, but he was off and the game went to overtime tied at 98.
Portland scored the first two baskets in the extra period, but Khris Middleton hit a 3-pointer and ZaZa Pachulia made a layup to give the Bucks a 103-102 lead.
Matthews‘ basket and layup put Portland back in front before Lillard dunked and hit a long jumper to make it 109-103. Middleton’s pull-up jumper closed the gap for the Bucks, until Mathews’ 3 made it 112-105.
Middleton added another jumper with just over a minute to go but Milwaukee couldn’t catch up.
“Since the trade deadline they’ve been a pretty good offensive team,” Matthews said, “but that doesn’t excuse us. We’ve got to come out with more urgency.”
Mo Williams had a season-high 23 points off the bench for Portland and Lillard, who got off to a slow start, had 20 points - 15 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Lillard said that perhaps the Blazers were overconfident going into the game because of Milwaukee’s rough season.