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National Basketball Association
Preview
Milwaukee at Portland
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly lost rookie forward Jabari Parker for the rest of the season as their four-game road trip marches on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bucks are prepared to announce that Parker has a torn ACL in his left knee after he was carried off the floor early in the second half on Monday against the Phoenix Suns and wasn’t around to see Khris Middleton bury a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bucks a 96-94 victory. The Trail Blazers beat a San Antonio Spurs team Monday that was without three of its top four scorers.

These teams put on an entertaining show the last time they met in Portland, as 21 leads were exchanged in regulation before the Trail Blazers won in overtime. Portland leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who did not play in that meeting because of a lower back contusion, is playing especially well lately, putting up his eighth double-double in the last 10 games on Monday and the Bucks have little to counter with. On the flip side, Bucks 6-11 shooting guard Giannis Antetokounmpo should be a handful for Portland’s guards, which may require Aldridge to move up to guard Antetokounmpo.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), CSN Northwest (Portland)

ABOUT THE BUCKS (13-12): Parker is the only true small forward for the Bucks, so Middleton will likely fill his role in the starting lineup. Middleton has seen his role change significantly as he started 64 games for Milwaukee last season but opened this season on the bench and even sat out three games in November despite being fully healthy. He has scored 14 points in each of the last two games and is averaging 10.9 points in the last 10, more in line with his career scoring average of 10.4.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (19-6): The mysterious offensive slide of Nicolas Batum has continued into December, as his scoring average sits at 8.8 after averaging between 12.4 and 14.3 points the last four seasons. He hasn’t strung together three straight games in double figures this season after hitting that mark in at least six straight games on four separate occasions last season. Batum's drop off is clearly reflected in his shooting percentages, as he’s hitting on 37.7 percent of his field goal tries this season after making 46.5 a year ago and his 3-point numbers have fallen from 36.1 to 23.7.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Portland C Robin Lopez is sidelined after breaking his right hand in the contest against San Antonio.

2. Portland is 11-2 at home this season, tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the best home mark in the Western Conference.

3. Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard is the first NBA player since Gary Payton in 1999-2000 to have at least 500 points, 150 assists, 125 rebounds and 60 or more 3-pointers in the first 25 games of the season.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 100, Bucks 97
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Milwaukee 13-12 W2 7-4 6-8 0-1 13-11 3-3 8-8
Portland 19-6 W2 11-2 8-4 0-1 19-5 5-1 8-5
Last Meeting
Milwaukee Portland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/18/14 MIL 115 POR 120 115 53 45.9 120 47 43.3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Milwaukee B. Knight 24 40.0 5
Portland W. Matthews 26 53.3 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Milwaukee Z. Pachulia 13 6 7
Portland R. Lopez 14 7 7
Assists Player  
Milwaukee N. Wolters 6
Portland N. Batum 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Milwaukee B. Knight 464 42.5 113
Portland L. Aldridge 600 45.0 116
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Milwaukee G. Antetokounmpo 191 35 156
Portland L. Aldridge 270 68 202
Assists Player  
Milwaukee B. Knight 162
Portland D. Lillard 165
Quickchart Matchup
Milwaukee Off vs  Portland Defense
99.2 Points For
95.6 Points Against
46.1 FG%
43.1 FG%
40.8 Reb
43.9 Reb
Portland Off vs  Milwaukee Defense
102.3 Points For
100.4 Points Against
45.2 FG%
45.3 FG%
43.9 Reb
41.7 Reb