The Trail Blazers played poorly early, got down big, made a late comeback but just couldn't make enough plays late and lost.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The latest installment of this stretch of Portland's season came Saturday, when the Blazers followed what has become a repeating cycle, this time against the Milwaukee Bucks, who fended off the usual Blazers late rally to win 110-104 before a sellout 20,487 at the Rose Garden.

The loss was Portland's fifth in a row, its longest losing streak of the season, and dropped the Blazers (20-20) to .500 for the first time since Dec. 28, when they were blown out by the Lakers in Los Angeles to fall to 14-14.

As they did in the four previous games, the Blazers came tantalizingly close to finishing what would have been a remarkable comeback win, but just couldn't.