March 31, 2018 / 5:46 AM / 5 months ago

Bledsoe drops 39 as Bucks outlast Lakers in OT

Eric Bledsoe made a career-best seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 39 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 124-122 overtime victory over the host Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center.

Khris Middleton contributed 28 points and four steals for the Bucks, who blew a 21-point, third-quarter lead before prevailing for the fourth time in the past five games. Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 27 points and 16 rebounds as Milwaukee moved into a tie with the Miami Heat for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, 5 1/2 games clear of the ninth-place Detroit Pistons with six to play.

Kyle Kuzma had 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Brook Lopez scored 20 points for Los Angeles, which lost for the sixth time in the past eight contests. Julius Randle recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds, Ivica Zubac scored 16 points, Josh Hart had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Brandon Ingram tallied 12 points.

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball sat out with a left knee injury.

Bledsoe, who scored 11 points in overtime, was 15 of 24 from the field (7 of 12 from long range) while falling two points shy of his career high. He also had six assists and four steals.

Los Angeles held a 56-39 rebounding advantage.

Bledsoe scored the first nine points of overtime, including a 3-pointer with 2:59 left and a layup 24 seconds later to make it 121-112. But the Lakers recovered to score the next eight and moved within one on two free throws by Randle with 49.8 seconds to play.

Antetokounmpo split with two free throws with 16.4 seconds left before Kuzma missed a tying attempt with 2.8 seconds to go. Bledsoe hit two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

Randle’s basket with 1:30 remaining in regulation tied the score at 112 and marked the last points before the overtime.

Tyler Zeller’s hook shot pusuhed the Bucks’ lead to 95-74 with 2:08 to play. The Lakers closed with a 9-2 surge and trailed 97-83 after Zubac slammed home a dunk with 1.5 seconds left.

Zubac remained hot at the outset of the final stanza by scoring three consecutive inside baskets to pull Los Angeles within eight points. The Lakers continued their charge and Zubac scored again in the interior to pull them within 102-100 with 7:48 to play.

Los Angeles briefly inched ahead on Kuzma’s basket to make it 107-106 with 4:57 left.

Middleton scored 17 points and Antetokounmpo had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Milwaukee led 68-57 at the break.

—Field Level Media

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