After a promising first quarter from L.A., the Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, outscored the Lakers 34-21 in the second to take a double-digit lead going into halftime.
The Lakers often struggle mightily coming out of the break, but the team responded with the urgency needed to climb back into the game. Talen Horton-Tucker and a more engaged Anthony Davis helped cut into the deficit.
Los Angeles regained the lead in the fourth quarter and both teams remained close, but L.A. ran out of gas. Milwaukee capitalized and sealed the game.
Here is how the Lakers, now 8-8 on the year, graded individually:
Russell Westbrook: B-minus
Russell Westbrook’s shot selection and decision-making when passing bit him in the closing minutes, but he managed to assemble a solid outing against Jrue Holiday’s methodical defense.
Westbrook, despite shooting 7-of-16 overall, shot 2-of-5 from deep en route to a 19-point, 15-assist performance.
There wasn’t much to take away from Avery Bradley’s game. He made a corner triple in the opening quarter but didn’t impact the game after that. His 17 minutes were the least of any starter.
Talen Horton-Tucker: A
Talen Horton-Tucker just continues to shine after every game. This time, he dropped 25 points (9-of-18 FG, 3-of-6 3P, 4-of-4 FT), 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 39 minutes.
The Bucks struggled to contain his size and driving ability in the second half. Horton-Tucker’s finishing near the rim was tremendous, and the team looks good when he’s facilitating the offense.
Carmelo Anthony couldn’t connect from deep tonight (2-of-8) in what was a relatively quiet game from him despite putting up 10 points. His size wasn’t a favorable matchup inside the arc against Bobby Portis.
Anthony Davis: D
Davis got dominated by Giannis. Davis put up 18 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks, but he looked passive all night in comparison to Giannis. Davis didn’t even attempt a free throw, though he should’ve at least had one when Giannis made contact from behind on an AD dunk.
On the other end, Antetokounmpo wanted to go at Davis every time. Antetokounmpo’s 47 points (18-of-23 FG, 3-of-4 3P, 8-of-11 FT) made AD look minuscule out there.
Malik Monk: F
Malik Monk played 24 minutes off the bench and chipped in 11 points, but he shot 1-of-7 from deep and misplaced some passes when operating in the pick-and-roll. A better shooting game from Monk could’ve swung this game.
Wayne Ellington: F
Wayne Ellington played 20 minutes off the bench and mimicked Monk’s 1-of-7 clip from deep. That simply won’t cut it from one of Los Angeles’ top 3-point specialists.
Rajon Rondo: C-plus
Rajon Rondo wasn’t good defensively and simply got outplayed on that end, but he made some big shots on offense. Two of them came from downtown and one was a switch-of-hands layup against Portis in the final quarter. He added three assists in his 12 minutes.
Kent Bazemore: F
All of Kent Bazemore’s 11 minutes, primarily in the second half, were miserable. He missed all of his five shots, including three 3s; one was an airball. The only positive was him getting a steal right after turning it over.
Dwight Howard: D-minus
Dwight Howard played his usual minutes in the rotation but that was it. He struggled to contain Giannis but registered a steal and a block to help his grade a bit.
DeAndre Jordan: N/A
DeAndre Jordan played five minutes, all in the second half, but missed both his shots. He grabbed four rebounds, but he didn’t play enough to warrant a proper grade.