The Milwaukee Bucks showed the Los Angeles Lakers are nowhere near competing for the NBA championship, drubbing L.A. 131-116 on Tuesday.
From start to finish, the Bucks had total control of the game. Milwaukee shot an inexplicable 68.2% from the field and 56.2% from downtown in the first half. Although those numbers dipped after halftime, the visitors’ lead ballooned to 30 points in the middle of the third quarter.
The Lakers put together a fourth-quarter run without Russell Westbrook on the court, but the late push was only good enough to make it a 15-point loss.
“They were making a lot of shots,” Anthony Davis said of the game “They’re more physical. Played more pace, transition, every facet of the game they beat us in. When we dig ourselves into a hole, everything has to go right.
“We came out, just like the Knicks game, in halftime; kind of got us together in the fourth quarter. Put a run together. But like I said at that point, everything has to go right when you are behind the eight ball. We had a run and then [Bobby] Portis hit a three.”
Davis said the Bucks’ offensive efficiency killed any hopes of a comeback the Lakers had.
“When you’re on a run and they make a big shot, kind of deflate but we shouldn’t be putting ourselves in this situation,” the 28-year-old said. “We just got to come out with more energy. No one is going to feel sorry for us, we got to do it ourselves.”
Davis hopes L.A. gains some momentum before next week’s All-Star Weekend and then builds on it after the break — which everyone but LeBron James will spend at home this year.
“We got three games before All-Star,” he said. “Try to go 3-0 and feel good about ourselves going into All-Star. Get that little break – except [LeBron James] – where everybody gets a little break to try to just clear their mind and get away from the game a little bit.
“Then come back with a little bit of energy going into the quote-unquote, second half of the season.”
Davis: Lakers haven’t given up on their Big 3
Head coach Frank Vogel has benched Westbrook in the second straight game and for the third time this season. Over the last four games, the 33-year-old guard is averaging 10.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists, shooting 27.5% from the field and 15.4% from beyond the arc.
Davis said the Lakers’ injury issues and ever-changing lineups made Westbrook’s integration “tough.” But he added L.A. is still trying to make its Big 3 work.
“I just think it’s tough when we don’t have our entire team,” Davis said.“Guys are in and out of the lineup, we have one lineup that’s working, and then someone goes out so now we change things. Bron goes down, I go down, and then Malik comes in, AB’s starting then AB’s not starting, so it’s just a lot.
“You get a feel for a unit and rotation and then it changes because of whatever reason.
“But I don’t think we’ve given up on this, I know we haven’t. We got a lot of basketball left, we can turn this around but it’s gonna take a lot of work. To do it, it’s gonna take us as a team to do so. We got to buy in and everyone’s got to go out there and play for each other, play hard, play selfless and try to turn this around before it gets really bad.”
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