EditorsNote: 7th graf clarified, also 7th graf, change Lakers turnovers to 19 sted 18
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points with 11 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks bounced back from the end of their winning streak in emphatic fashion with a 111-104 victory Thursday over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
In a battle of the teams with the best record in the NBA, the Bucks made their statement as George Hill added 21 points and Khris Middleton scored 15. Just one game earlier, the Bucks saw their 18-game winning streak come to an end with a defeat to the Dallas Mavericks.
Anthony Davis scored 36 points with 10 rebounds and LeBron James had a triple-double for the Lakers, who were also returning to the court after the end of their winning streak last time out. James had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists one game after Los Angeles’ run of 14 consecutive road victories ended Tuesday at Indiana.
The James/Davis duo started slow but combined to go 19 of 44 from the field. James’ first field goal did not come until nearly two minutes into the second quarter. Davis’ first basket came in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Bucks led 23-17 after one quarter in the Lakers’ lowest scoring opening period of the season.
A 14-2 run midway through the second period gave the Bucks a 43-24 lead, and they led 65-46 at the break by shooting 50 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range. Milwaukee had a 25-4 advantage in bench points at halftime.
The Bucks still led by 19 at 80-61 with 6:10 left in the third quarter before the Lakers made a push, coming to within eight at 89-81 heading into the final period. The Lakers pulled to within five at 109-104 with under a minute remaining but lost on a night when they committed 19 turnovers.
Wesley Matthews scored 13 points and Brook Lopez added 10 for the Bucks, who improved to 14-2 at home. Antetokounmpo delivered his 25th double-double. Milwaukee closes out the calendar year with four of six games on the road.
Danny Green scored 21 points, all coming on seven 3-pointers in 12 attempts, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 for the Lakers, who have another showdown game awaiting on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Clippers.
—Field Level Media