The Milwaukee Bucks have extended their win streak to nine after an eventful day headlined by their acquisition of former Marquette star Jae Crowder. As part of the deal, the Bucks sent George Hill, Jordan Nwora, and Serge Ibaka to the Indiana Pacers. With two players no longer on their bench (Ibaka had been away from the team for weeks), the Bucks went into the game a bit short-handed. The Los Angeles Lakers, too, were missing several players, including the NBA’s all-time scoring leader LeBron James (knee soreness).
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The Milwaukee Bucks Big Three Leads Team to Victory
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday should be considered the best “Big Three” remaining in the NBA. After the Brooklyn Nets lost James Harden this offseason, they traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns. One time, they were considered the best Big Three in the game. However, the Bucks defeated them in the Playoffs with their own trio, who also led them to victory against the Lakers in this game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 38 points on 14-23 shooting in 36 minutes of play. Middleton came off of the bench again, scoring 22 points in 25 minutes on 10-18 shooting. Finally, Holiday overcame a slow start in the first half to score 18 points on 8-16 shooting.
Milwaukee Overcame a Halftime Deficit to Win
At one point, the Bucks led 20-17 in the first quarter. However, the short-handed Lakers got hot from the floor and took a 58-50 lead into the half. Milwaukee did not lead again until midway through the third quarter. A hot third quarter which saw them outscore Los Angeles 38-23 set the tone for the rest of the game.
While Milwaukee shot just 12-47 (25.5%) from three overall, timely shooting in the second half allowed them to pull away. The Bucks, who lead the NBA in rebounds per game, won the rebounding battle 51-43. They also committed fewer turnovers (10) than the Lakers (12) and finished with more blocked shots (7-2) and steals (5-2).
Milwaukee Bucks: Box Score
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: 38 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block
- Brook Lopez: nine points, 10 rebounds, three blocks
- Jrue Holiday: 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists
- Pat Connaughton: five points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals
- Grayson Allen: 12 points, four rebounds
- Khris Middleton: 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, one block
- Jevon Carter: zero points, two rebounds, one block
- Wesley Matthews: two points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block
- Sandro Mamukelashvili: six points, three rebounds, one steal
- MarJon Beauchamp: three points, one rebound
Los Angeles Lakers: Box Score
- Troy Brown Jr.: 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists
- Rui Hachimura: eight points, six rebounds, one assist, one block
- Anthony Davis: 23 points, 16 rebounds, two assists
- Max Christie: zero points, one assist
- Dennis Schroder: 25 points, two rebounds, 12 assists, one steal
- Lonnie Walker IV: 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, one block
- Wenyen Gabriel: six points, four rebounds
- Austin Reaves: 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal
- Cole Swider: no stats recorded
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