Posted on December 20, 2019, by Travis Pulver
With Anthony Davis and a rejuvenated LeBron James leading the way, the Lakers have big expectations this season. The end goal, of course, is to become champions and win the NBA Finals this year.
But to keep the team motivated and working towards something during the season, they had another goal. They are not going to lose two games in a row throughout the regular season– again.
So, after losing to an undermanned Pacers team Tuesday night, they needed a win over the Bucks. But Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were not concerned with the personal goals of the Lakers.
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Based on the stat lines Anthony Davis (36 points, ten rebounds) and LeBron James generated (21 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists), the Lakers looked like a team poised for a big win in a game many called an NBA Final preview.
However, Antetokounmpo did his part for the Bucks scoring 34 points, pulling down 11 rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. Four other players scored in double figures. So, in this case, it wasn’t going to be the stars that won the game.
It was going to be the role players off the bench—advantage, Bucks. Milwaukee’s bench outscored the Lakers bench, 34-4. The Bucks succeeded in handing the Lakers their second loss in a row.
“No matter what team we play,” Bucks’ George Hill, who had 21 points off the bench, said after the game via ESPN, “we come in with the same mentality to get better that night on both ends of the floor, and it just happened to be the Lakers tonight.”
The Bucks led by six after the first but then stretched the lead out to 19 at the half, 65-46. The Lakers certainly helped out with ten turnovers. They came on strong in the third outscoring the Bucks 35-24. But Milwaukee played the fourth a lot tighter.
Los Angeles got within five late in the game but never really threatened to take over the game. Milwaukee went on to win, 111-104.
With the loss, the Lakers failed to meet their goal of no back-to-back losses this season. But rather than dwell on it, they wasted no time setting a new goal—not to lose two in a row again.
“You want to make goals along the process, along the way, along the marathon,” LeBron James said after the game, via ESPN. “And for us to play exceptional basketball for the majority of this part of the season, it’s commitment of focus, it’s a commitment of what we’re trying to do: Continue to get better and just be laser-sharp for a majority of the process so far.
“So, we’re just going to try to continue that.”
They will try to get back on the right side of the scoreboard when they face the Denver Nuggets back home in Los Angeles on Sunday. Milwaukee will be back in action Saturday night in New York with a game against the Knicks.