The Bucks cruised to a 27-point halftime lead against Portland on Tuesday night.

And Milwaukee needed all of that margin to hold off the Trail Blazers, 102-95, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Portland got as close as 100-93 on a three-pointer by Wesley Matthews with 1 minute 33 seconds remaining. But two free throws by Brandon Jennings with 26.2 seconds left clinched the Bucks victory as they improved to 34-32.

Milwaukee moved within two games of Boston and Chicago and 2 1/2 behind Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Jennings led the Bucks with 24 points and Ellis added 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Samuel Dalembert started at forward in place of the injured Ersan Ilyasova and added 16 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

Matthews scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half and LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points.