MILWAUKEE – NS Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks two pasts NBA champion, and one of the favorites once again entering this season. However, things are not the same in the first month, in large part due to trauma. The most notable of which is LeBron James‘stress in his stomach, which prevented him from attending Wednesday night’s game and dropped some juice from the match.
But Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook It’s still there, and you’ll never get bored when you fall into that category. Especially not when the ex-player racked up a remarkable 47 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 109-102 victory.
The Lakers took a double-digit lead early, but the Bucks were back in the game late in the first quarter. They have since taken control for the most part and led to 12 before the Lakers went on to reclaim the lead briefly in the fourth inning. That’s when Kris Middleton – get back into the lineup after a game with COVID-19 – step up and put the Bucks back in front for good with a part of 3 pointers. He finished with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists on the night.
Westbrook led the Lakers in defeat with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Davis added 18 points and 9 rebounds. The Lakers have now dropped back to .500 into the 8-8 season but will be bolstered by LeBron’s return later this week.
Here are some key takeaways from the game:
1. Giannis dominated from the start
It took Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks a few minutes to get started, but once they did they never looked back. He threw down a powerful downhill for Milwaukee’s first point of the game, and over the next 90 seconds, three more finishes at the belt. He maintained that belligerent mindset all night.
“He’s in attack mode,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. “He’s really, competitively and from a mindset, really wanting to be his best. When he’s in attack mode that’s usually when he’s at his best. I think he’s also been at his best. made some great passes. Tonight Giannis was special.”
That’s him. He had 28 points in the first half and finished with 47 points, nine rebounds and three assists 18-23 from the field. It was a high season for him, and also made him the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 1995 to score at least 45 points and shoot 75% in a game against the Lakers.
The Lakers were unanswered for much of the night and were only able to slow him down for a brief period as they switched to an area in the second half. However, Giannis eventually solved that and continued this work. He scored 12 points in the fourth inning, including eight in the 3:09 final. The most important of which comes with just over two minutes left, when he bullies Talen Horton-Tucker under the basket, switching one and the other and flexing in front of an ecstatic crowd.
Giannis has been playing superbly throughout the season, but it hasn’t always translated into a win for the short-term Bucks. This time, however, with another great player Davis on the other side, Giannis brought in a little extra and it didn’t go to waste.
“[Davis is] One of the best players in the league,” said Giannis. You must be ready. If you’re not ready it’s going to be a long night. You must be vigilant. You have to be ready to compete with a guy like Anthony Davis. Such guys, if they smell it, are afraid they will rush at you. And vice versa. If I see someone scared of me, I’ll go all night. I won’t stop. You must be willing to accept the challenge, and you must also be willing to accept the challenge. “
2. Middleton returns, clutches appear, makes history
The Bucks have been besieged by injuries and absent all season, but they are finally starting to return to full strength now. Jrue’s Day and Khris Middleton are both in the lineup again. Middleton has missed the past eight games after testing positive for COVID-19, but has since been cleared and is available for this one.
That proved to be crucial for the Bucks. Though he soon got tired, missing his first five shots in the first half, he started to find rhythm after that. He scored 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists 4 to 7 from the field in the second half alone, and unleashed some great shots in the fourth.
“It’s just, my form isn’t as good as it should be,” Middleton said. “But I was looking forward to it. First game back in a while, not really touching the ball in almost two weeks. Knowing it, you know, it’s going to be a bit tiring. Just trying to shoot. Be the best you can. Be in the game but be active at the same time. Just stay with it and know that someday I’ll find it.”
After leading to 12, the Bucks fell behind from the start in fourth with Giannis on the bench. At earlier points throughout the season, the game has distanced them from them at similar points. Now, with Middleton’s return, they have a second option, who can perform offensive behavior for extended periods of time. With only about nine minutes left, Middleton headed three seconds in a row to turn a one-point shortfall into a five-point lead. Bucks never followed again.
“It feels good to have him back,” Giannis said. “It’s good to be back on the right track. We missed him. Just having him there, he attracted a lot of attention. Like, people have to protect him and he will played right… He definitely helped the team Hit two 3s against us, gave us momentum, made some great plays in the defensive, attacking verticals. have him back.”
If getting back on the field wasn’t enough, Middleton even made his name in the history books. With the second of his clutch 3s in Q4, he beat Ray Allen for the most 3s in Bucks franchise history with 1,051.
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3. Bucks have a chance to get back on track
Amid a spate of injuries and Khris Middleton’s COVID-19 absence, the Bucks didn’t look like themselves. Even after the win over the Lakers, they’re 7-8th and wouldn’t even be in the play-in if the season were to go on now. The last time they were below 0.5 points at the end of this season was in 2017.
After winning the title last season, the team is no longer panic mode. At the same time, they knew they had to start stringing together some positive results before the gap between them and the top spot in the East became too great.
“We have to start the game winning,” Giannis said. For me that is not the most important thing. For me, the most important thing is getting better and building good habits and playing the best basketball between May and June. But at the end of the day, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you keep losing, so now we have to switch that mentality. We have to win games, go out there and play hard, play together. “
They have the opportunity to do that in the next few days. First, they have Giannis, Middleton and Jrue Holiday back healthy for the first time since the first week of the season. Including the win over the Lakers, that trio have now played three games together this season, and the Bucks are leading 3-0 by 40 points. Also, the rest of their house has games against Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic (twice) – three of the worst teams in the league.
“It’s a good opportunity that Khris is back for us to start getting back on track,” continued Giannis. “Let’s start building some games right here. We’ll see. I can’t predict the future but we’re in a good place right now.”
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/bucks-vs-lakers-takeaways-giannis-antetokounmpo-dominates-khris-middleton-returns-in-big-win-for-milwaukee/ Bucks vs. Lakers takeaways: Giannis Antetokounmpo dominates, Khris Middleton returns in big win for Milwaukee