Bucks vs. Trail Blazers preview
The Milwaukee Bucks do an outstanding job of converting off turnovers despite playing at one of the NBA's slowest tempos.
They'll look to post consecutive victories for the first time in a month Monday night when they host Damian Lillard and a Portland Trail Blazers team seeking a third straight win.
Milwaukee (8-13) averages 19.3 points off turnovers for one of the league's better marks despite averaging 95.3 possessions per 48 minutes for one of the NBA's slowest paces.
The Bucks played without point guards Jerryd Bayless and Tyler Ennis in Saturday's 106-91 home win over New York. Bayless was out with a knee injury and Ennis with left shoulder soreness.
O.J. Mayo started at point guard and had 17 points and five assists with one turnover in 35 minutes.
"One turnover for a guy who we would say likes to shoot it," coach Jason Kidd said. "I think he showed what it means to be a true teammate."
Milwaukee is 4-10 since a four-game win streak Nov. 2-7.
There's a chance Kidd may want to start Michael Carter-Williams, who came off the bench for 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting and added five assists. Carter-Williams, who has started 11 games, averaged 5.3 points on 30.0 percent shooting in his previous six games.
"He did a really good job attacking the paint, being able to finish, and also set up his teammates," Kidd said.
Who Kidd decides to start will likely be based on how he wants to match up with Lillard, who is averaging 24.2 points to lead the Trail Blazers and averaging 89.4 touches to rank among the NBA's leaders.
Lillard is averaging a career-high 5.4 free throw attempts, though he believes he isn't getting his fair share of calls.
"It's a little bit frustrating just because I play at a fast pace," Lillard said. "Sometimes it's hard to see contact because I play so fast."
Portland (9-12) can match its longest win streak of the season from Nov. 2-5. The Trail Blazers opened a four-game trip by rallying from 17 down in the third quarter for a 109-103 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
"You never know but that's been our mindset period," Lillard said. "If you're up we've got to keep playing. If we're down we've got to keep playing."
Lillard shoots 31.9 percent at Milwaukee for his second-worst mark in an NBA city to his 30.2 in Detroit.
The Blazers scored a season-high 22 points off turnovers Saturday. They rank last in the league in that category at 12.4 per game.
Portland is also last in the NBA in turnover differential at minus-3.3.
The Blazers will get their first look at Jabari Parker, who was injured as a rookie when these teams split two 2014-15 meetings. Parker made his first start in five games Saturday and had season highs of 17 points and 35 minutes.
"We use all our versatility, we use all of our entire team, everybody can play and get us good minutes," Parker said. "As long as we stay together and close games out, we'll look good for the season."