In an intense back-and-forth game, the Los Angeles Lakers came away with their most impressive victory of the 2022-23 season when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 133-129.
Patrick Beverley managed to score five of the Lakers’ first six points, but they trailed 9-8 after Khris Middleton scored his first points of the 2022-23 season. Los Angeles claimed a 15-12 lead after a couple of buckets from Anthony Davis, forcing a timeout from Milwaukee.
The Bucks immediately responded with a 9-0 run as they clamped down on the Lakers’ half court offense, but Davis was able to end their drought with a personal 6-0 run that put them back on top. Russell Westbrook’s facilitating was on full display as he recorded five assists on five consecutive possessions, helping Los Angeles take a 33-31 lead into the second quarter.
LeBron James finally got in the scoring column after a few of drives to the rim, while defensively the team did a great job forcing the Bucks into tough shots. L.A. went on another 9-0 run keyed by Davis that led to their first double-digit lead of the night.
Davis continued to dominate offensively, forcing his way to the painted area for easy baskets to keep the Lakers well ahead. Jrue Holiday narrowed the Laker lead to single digits with a flurry of scores, but Davis nailed a tough shot falling out of bounds to give them a 66-58 lead at halftime.
The Laker defense came out slow to start the third quarter as they gave up several open looks, whittling their lead down to two. L.A. briefly found themselves trailing after allowing too many Milwaukee 3-pointers, but Lonnie Walker IV responded with a pair of triples to put them back up 83-81.
The Lakers came out of a timeout in a zone defense that flummoxed the Bucks, keying another run that resulted in a Walker highlight reel dunk to push their lead back to 10. Giannis Antetokounmpo bullied his way to the rim toward the end of the period, but Los Angeles held onto a 101-97 lead after three.
The two teams traded baskets to begin the fourth quarter, with Milwaukee pulling within one. James looked like he tweaked his ankle after Middleton fell onto it, but fortunately the star was able to remain in the game and hit a tough contested jumper.
The intensity on both ends ratcheted up several notches, with neither team backing down from the other down the stretch. James and Davis carried the Laker offense in the final minutes, finding holes in the Bucks defense and they were able to deliver the hard-fought win.