The Los Angeles Lakers were back at Staples Center on Friday night to face the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers were looking to extend their winning streak to three games.
This is the second and last time the Lakers will face the Bucks this season. Their previous encounter went to overtime as Milwaukee came away with a hard earned win. The purple and gold came into the game with a 15-41 record, and the Bucks were owners of a 32-25 mark.
Jordan Clarkson was the starting point guard once again coming off a career high 22 points against Utah on Wednesday. Wayne Ellington, Carlos Boozer, Ryan Kelly, and Robert Sacre comprised the rest of the starting lineup.
Ryan Kelly got the Lakers going offensively with a nice cut to the basket and bank shot make. Carlos Boozer rolled into the paint, received a nice pass from the rookie Clarkson and converted the tough shot with a foul. The Lakers had an efficient offensive start after a third straight field goal off a Sacre hook shot. The Bucks on the other hand started the game in a lull and were scoreless for the first three and half minutes as a pair of Giannis Antetokoumpo free throws broke thr dry spell. Ryan Kelly finished at the rim in transition breaking a Lakers drought. Clarkson collected a defensive rebound and finishing with a jumper in transition, and followed that up with a nice dish to Boozer for a layup, after the latter stripped Antetokoumpo, extending the Lakers lead to eight points. The rookie guard had a tough layup off the glass after Ed Davis fed him off an offensive rebound. Jeremy Lin came off the bench and made a three pointer on his first field goal attempt. Clarkson continued his good night with a three point make off a Lin drive and kick, and Lin followed with a successful drive and make. The Bucks had the last shot of the quarter but missed, the Lakers went into the second quarter up 24-18.
The Lakers first basket of the quarter came courtesy of a Jordan Hill slam off a nice Lin drive and feed to the big man. Lin kept up the energy after splitting the defense and finishing with a layup. Ed Davis had a basket from hard work on the offensive boards, stretching the lead to eight points. The Laker bigs were doing work after back-to-back Davis and Hill makes. The Lakers defense fell into a mental lapse and gave up a 7-2 run, and Byron Scott promptly called a timeout. Robert Sacre stopped the bleeding with a jumper, but the Bucks kept rolling after Jared Dudley hit a jumper of his own, and after three straight baskets the Bucks took a six point lead, the first time they lead in the game. Ellington found a cutting Boozer for an easy dunk, and the Lakers were down by three with less than two minutes left in the half. Sacre grabbed an offensive rebound with 51 seconds and got fouled, and made one of two free throws. Clarkson once again drove to the basket and made a tough layup to cut the deficit back to two points. Ellington stole the ball from a bad Michael Carter-Williams pass, but Carter-Williams re-stole the ball as time expired. The Lakers went to the break down 47-45.
Sacre had a nice post move and basket to start off the second half. But after three straight Bucks makes and an Antetokoumpo free throw had the Lakers down seven early in the quarter. Ryan Kelly drove to the basket and drew a foul, converting both foul shots and finally ending Milwaukee’s 9-0 run. Boozer didn’t help the cause as he drew a technical foul for a push. An Ilyasova jumper pushed the Bucks lead to 10, the largest of the game. But Clarkson continued his incredible shooting night with a three pointer, on six of seven shooting. The Lakers kept chipping away as Boozer hit a tough jumper with 4 seconds on the shot clock. Both teams didn’t make a single basket for over a minute and a half until Antetokoumpo hit a short jumper in the paint, extending the Bucks lead back up to nine. Jordan Hill drew a foul with 26 seconds left in the quarter and converted both free throws. The Bucks last shot was blocked by Ed Davis and Lin missed the half court shot at the buzzer. The Lakers entered the fourth quarter down 72-65.
A three from Ilyasova started off the scoring in the final period, but a layup from Hill and two Lin free throws kept the Lakers within seven. Another Lin jumper cut the Lakers deficit to five and after a Bucks free throw, Lin hit Davis for a layup to bring the Lakers within four. Ellington hit a three to cap a 11-1 Lakers run to make it a one point game. Free throws from Pachulia and a Jerryd Bayless layup gave the Bucks a cushion, but Hill got a dunk to keep the Lakers within three. Johnson hit a corner three and Ellington got a layup to give the Lakers their first lead of the second half. Lin made a beautiful cross-court pass for an Ellington three as the Lakers pulled ahead by four. Ellington continued his hot hand with back-to-back jumpers as the Lakers pushed ahead by six. The Bucks cut into the lead at the free throw line, but a Hill follow kept the Lakers ahead by five. Bayless knocked down a jumper to cut the lead right back to three with less than two minutes remaining, but Hill matched with a jumper of his own. A Bucks turnover led to a Johnson transition dunk to give the Lakers a seven point lead with one minute left. The teams traded free throws resulting in the Lakers remaining ahead by seven with only 35 seconds left. The Bucks missed down the stretch as the Lakers won their third straight game.
Byron Scott After Lakers Third Straight Win