The Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at home at Fiserv Forum. Historically, the matchups between Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James have brought out the best in both competitors. Indeed, it is very difficult to pinpoint just five excellent performances. After all, Giannis has career averages for 26.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game against the Lakers.
5. March 6, 2020: Bucks 103, Lakers 113
Even though the Bucks lost this game, Giannis had a fantastic game. It was a class Giannis vs. LeBron matchup that saw both superstar players put up impressive numbers. For his part, Giannis had 32 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. He was 10-21 from the field (1-6 from three) and 11-14 from the free throw line. Supporting players Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe were just a combined 10-32 from the field. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17 points off the bench.
LeBron had 37 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
4. December 19, 2019: Bucks 111, Lakers 104
Same season, different result. Giannis was able to lead the Bucks to victory over the Lakers in a matchup of the NBA’s best teams at the time. Going into the game, both squads were 24-4. Giannis put up 34 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists to lead Milwaukee. George Hill added 21 off the bench. Notably, Brook Lopez was a defensive force, racking up four steals and three blocks.
LeBron had a triple-double: 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.
3. February 10, 2017: Bucks 114, Lakers 122
Before LeBron James signed with the Lakers, and before Coach Budenholzer took over the Bucks, both teams were not that good. This particular matchup saw the Lakers win to improve to 19-37 on the season while the Bucks fell to 22-30. Giannis had 41 points, eight rebounds, and six assists while shooting 11-20 from the floor (1-6 from three) and 18-21 from the free thrown line. No other Bucks starter had more than seven points, and Middleton was used in a reserve role.
What a weird and disappointing era that was.
2. November 17, 2021: Bucks 109, Lakers 102
This game saw LeBron James sit out for the Lakers, who were led by their other stars to give the Bucks some trouble. Giannis, though, scored his most points in a game versus the Lakers by pouring in 47 on 18-23 shooting (3-4 from three) and making eight of 11 free throws. He added nine rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
1. February 8, 2022: Bucks 131, Lakers 116
Same season, same result. This time, however, LeBron was back for the Lakers. It made no difference, though, as the Bucks, especially Giannis, dominated the game from the start. Giannis put up an impressive line of 44 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, a steal, and two blocks while shooting 17-20 (2-2 from three) from the field and 8-13 from the line. Both Middleton and Bobby Portis scored over 20 points as well.