Bucks pound Blazers in return to Portland

PORTLAND — While Golden State Warriors fans are clearly still irked that he was traded away, Monta Ellis is enjoying the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ellis had 14 points and nine assists to help Milwaukee beat Portland 116-87 on Tuesday night for the Bucks' sixth straight victory.

"Everybody's out there having fun, sharing the ball and everybody's on the same page trying to get some wins," Ellis said. "That's all that matters to us."

Drew Gooden had 19 points and Carlos Delfino added 16 for the Bucks, who shot a season-high 57.8 percent from the floor (48 for 83) and had 35 assists.

Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles praised Ellis' passing.

"He hasn't surprised us, we knew he could do it," Skiles said. "He has a very high basketball IQ. He goes to the open man. I think, to his credit, he's also trying to fit in and see how we play, and he's playing that way."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who suffered their worst margin of defeat at home since a 118-89 loss to Miami on Jan. 8, 2009.

About the only bright spot for Portland was Brandon Roy, who made his first appearance at the Rose Garden since his abrupt retirement at the start of training camp.

Roy, a three-time All-Star who left the game because of trouble with both of his knees, unexpectedly showed up sitting courtside and was wildly cheered when he was shown on the Rose Garden's video scoreboard. Team owner Paul Allen was among those who joined in the ovation.

The Blazers later said that Roy was at the game to surprise Blazers guard Jamal Crawford, a close friend, on his 32nd birthday. Roy did not speak with reporters.

The Blazers were coming off an eventful seven-game trip, during which they dismissed McMillan and traded forward Gerald Wallace and center Marcus Camby, both starters.

Portland finished 2-5 on the trip. Overall, they've lost nine of their last 12 games.

Interim Blazers coach Kaleb Canales, who started with the Blazers as a video intern in 2005, was greeted warmly by the home crowd when he when he was introduced to start the game, but his new team struggled defensively against the Bucks. Portland's backups were 2 for 29 against Milwaukee.

"Too many crooked numbers up here on the stat sheet," Canales said. "We didn't do a good job defensively. And you've got to give them credit. They're a hot team and they played like they've been playing and we didn't take them out of their game."

Two of the players acquired by the Blazers in a trade-deadline moves last week, guard Jonny Flynn and center Hasheem Thabeet, saw limited playing time late in the game. Both came to Portland in a deal that sent Camby to Houston.

The Bucks acquired Ellis, along with Ekpre Udoh and Kwame Brown from the Warriors in exchange for injured center Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson last week just before the trade deadline.

Ellis was a fan favorite in the Bay Area, and the deal angered fans who booed Warriors owner Joe Lacob during a halftime ceremony to retire Hall of Famer Chris Mulllins' jersey Monday night.

The fallout from the trade had been made all the worse when Ellis and the Bucks visited Oracle Arena two days after the deal and beat the Warriors 120-98.

Ellis did not have any comment on what happened to Lacob.

"They've got to deal with what they've got to deal with over there," Ellis said. "I'm worried about the Milwaukee Bucks."

The Bucks jumped ahead in the second quarter, led by Delfino, who hit two consecutive 3-pointers to put Milwaukee up 42-29 midway through the quarter. His layup stretched the lead to 48-32, and the Bucks carried a 54-43 advantage into the break.

Delfino's jumper in the fourth quarter put Milwaukee up 90-64, and Portland fans began streaming for the exits.

"We got to play with more effort," Aldridge said. "We got back-doored like four or five times. We've got to fight through screens, our bigs have to be up on the screens. I feel like we didn't do that tonight. We just worried about trying to outscore them. Our defense wasn't there."

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