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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Bucks- Game 55

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (26-29) |Milwaukee Bucks (35-21)


The Lakers fell to the Bucks for the second time this season, as they failed to come back 131-116.


Lakers vs Bucks
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Both teams were at near full-strength last night, but the Bucks maintained control throughout this one.  The Lakers had their shot to put away not only a title contender but a title defender as well.  The outcome may be the best answer to whether or not the Lakers want it this year because it’s just not apparent at this time.  Giannis showed no mercy last night for the Bucks, but with the defensive effort by the Lakers, it looks like they just don’t have what it takes to put away real teams.

Lebron and Giannis got the scoring started for their respective teams, with James hitting twice from the arc to begin.  Monk and Trevor Ariza would also answer from three for the Lakers, each hitting one, as the Lakers started strong and were up early in the first.  Giannis continued his candidacy for another MVP, leading a 16-3 run to establish a lead in the quarter.  AD would end the run with a completed and-1, but the Bucks would maintain a double-digit lead in light of solid offense by Giannis and Kris Middelton.

James had the last laugh of the quarter for the Lakers as he scored with a second left on the clock.  At this point the game was still in hand for a Laker comeback, but early turnovers and poor defense proved the Bucks were willing to capitalize on any mistake.  Giannis had 13, and Middelton had 11 going into the second.

James and Talen-Horton Tucker got something going to start the second quarter, but the Bucks came out with even more consistency.  Middelton would end the half with 21 points to go along with 23 from their MVP, but it was 70 percent overall shooting for the team in the first half that had the Lakers playing from far behind.  There was no positive takeaway from the first half for the Lakers, to say the least, as Frank Vogel had his work cut out for him at the break.

Westbrook had a poor first half, and his struggles leave the Lakers with strong motivation to move him by Thursday.  To compare the big three from each side last night – in Westbrook, Lebron, and AD vs Giannis, Middelton, and Holliday, the chemistry doesn’t compare with the purple and gold.  Westbrook continues to struggle not being the primary ball-handler anymore, while Holliday continually found Giannis and Middelton all over Arena with near-perfect rhythm.  The Lakers sought a miracle at the break, down 22 and with no sign of the defending champs slowing down.


Seventy percent shooting from the Bucks in the first half proved too much, as the Lakers tried to band together down 78-56 at the break.


Lakers vs Bucks
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

AD scored twice to start the second half, but the fourth deadly weapon for the Bucks in Bobby Portis, began to wake up.  Following back-to-back turnovers by Russ, Portis responded with three threes and a dunk while Giannis stayed consistent right alongside him.   The largest lead of the night would be taken by Milwaukee in the third, up by 30, but the Lakers did find some chip away magic towards the end of the quarter.  James had two buckets inside, with THT scoring twice as well, but they still saw themselves down sizably going into the fourth.

Stanley Johnson decided to bring the energy for Laker Nation in the fourth, as he and Lebron led a quick 11-6 run to cut the lead down to 20.  The team then found a 12-2 run in the favor, as AD and Monk began to post buckets, and the lead was trimmed to just 10 for the Bucks with five minutes to play.

The momentum was at its best potential at this point for the Lakers, but the defending champs had no regard for allowing the lead to be trimmed anymore. Bobby Portis would hit a dagger three to get himself into the 20-point category, while the quarter played out with a 13-8 run to close it out for MilwaukeeLebron did extend his 25 points or more streak with 27, but the loss overshadows any records that may have been broken.

Giannis was ridiculous last night, on 17-20 shooting and 44 points at the end of play.  His 14 boards and eight assists had him at a near triple-double. Middelton had all of his 21 points in the first half, but Bobby Portis stepped up in the second half as the second option, finishing his night with 23 points.  Jrue Holliday showed precisely how deadly the defending champs continue to be this year, with ten assists and 15 points.  Russ may have also had a double-double with 10 points and ten rebounds, but his style of play just doesn’t appear to fit on the LakersHolliday spotted Middleton outside and Giannis inside all night, while the Lakers lacked that same strategy with AD and Monk all night.

A 3-and D wing player would change the offensive process drastically for the Lakers, as two ball-dominant players in Russ and James really seem to hold them back from winning.  Defense is a struggle the Lakers front office should undoubtedly consider as well, but without rhythm in offense, they will only continue to fall to title-contending teams like last night.


The Lakers get Portland tonight as they just traded C.J. McCollum to New Orleans. The game can be seen on Spectrum at 7:00.

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 Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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