KHRIS Middleton scored 26 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 22 points, eight rebounds and two blocks as the Milwaukee Bucks held on to the final playoff spot in the East by turning back the Trail Blazers, 93-90, on Tuesday in Portland (Wednesday, Manila time).
Middleton went 3-for-3 from downtown and made a crucial basket from eight feet as the Bucks retook the lead 91-90.
John Henson sank a basket in the paint on the next possession for a three-point lead with 1:39 remaining.
The Bucks, coming off a loss to the Golden State Warriors, were leading by four, 85-81, when Allen Crabbe hit a 3-pointer and CJ McCollum made two consecutive layups to gain an 85-88 advantage with 4:31 left.
Milwaukee was up 15 at the start of the third quarter before Damian Lillard and McCollum led a Blazers comeback in the final period.
The win allowed the eighth place Bucks (35-35) to return to .500 and some breathing room from Detroit (34-38) as the postseason draws to a close.
Lillard had 31 points and seven assists for the Blazers while McCollum added 21. Portland (32-38) is running ninth and trails Denver by a game and a half for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.