Amidst the hoopla of deadline day, the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers actually played a basketball game! Though recently christened all-time leading scorer LeBron James sat with “ankle soreness,” the Bucks utilized a big second half to win their ninth straight game behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 38 points on 23 shots.
Milwaukee struggled to shoot the ball for much of the first, and while LA was content to let them bomb away from deep, their 5/28 mark on three-point attempts was pretty gross. The Lakers led 31-26 after one as the Bucks couldn't generate much in the halfcourt aside from Giannis getting to the rim. Khris Middleton got going a bit with eight second-quarter points, but his squad trailed 58-50 heading into the locker room.
Their shooting fortunes quickly reversed as the second half began, as some big triples from Holiday netted the Bucks their first lead since the opening frame just past the third’s midway point. They finished the third on a 25-10 run and led 88-81 entering the fourth. While the Lakers hung around and even tied it for a brief moment, Giannis ensured the Bucks held on and match their season-opening win streak.
Stat That Stood Out
As mentioned, the Bucks couldn’t hit the broad side of a cryptocurrency-branded arena in the first half. That didn’t stick with them through halftime, though, as in the third they stuck five of eleven from behind the arc, building them a lead that they didn’t surrender.