Los Angeles Lakers pull off big win against the Milwaukee Bucks

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Despite a bad night, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks, and this is a warning for the whole league.

It was the battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, the best of the best. A possible anticipation of the NBA Finals and a big defining game at this point of the season.

The Bucks landed in Los Angeles as the top team in the NBA and left defeated after a hard game that resonated with playoff atmosphere and intensity. For the Lakers, a victory that came as unexpected to some extent.

The Bucks arrived at Staples Center with a league-best 53-10 record, leading in points per game, defensive rating, 2-point field goal percentage and rebounds per game. Little-to-no-answer has been found to reigning MVP Giannis Antetokopunmpo and the team masterfully coached by former Gregg Popovich’s alumnus Mike Budenholzer, in the middle of a historic season.

It was supposed to be the same music for the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet, despite shooting a terrible (almost scary) 19 percent from three, turning the ball over 16 times and Anthony Davis scoring just five points in the first half, they finished the first half tied and concluded with a convincing win.

Obviously, we must point out to LeBron James‘ 37-8-8 performance and the fact that the Lakers are 20-0 when he scores at least 30, and AD finishing with 30 points, but this win was defined by one major element. A concerted team effort.

We rarely see a game were every player stepping on the court buys in both on offense and defense. Every player for LA was committed. Despite the awful shooting night the Lakers were relentless and found other ways to get baskets, fighting for every offensive rebound, executing and breaking the best defense in the league. The bench scored 33 points and brought the team back in the game in the second quarter.

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An outstanding defense, probably the best the Lakers played so far in the season, managed to keep the Bucks to 103 points and limit Antetokounmpo to 12 points in the first half and 32 overall.

Part of the merit goes to the often maligned James, who took the assignment to guard him after Davis picked up two early fouls. Kyle Kuzma as well did a good job defending on Giannis and switching on smaller players. Avery Bradley deserves to be mentioned for his defense on Eric Bledsoe, but, again, every Lakers player made a wonderful job, sticking on his man and protecting the area.

The game plan probably included double-teaming the Greek Freak to try and limit his disruptive penetrations, but it actually happened just a few times. There was no need to further deploy the strategy that could more in handy in an eventual finals matchup.

This was a statement win for the Lakers, who are riding a 7-1 record since the All-Star Break, proving that at this point of the season they are at the very top of the league, able to match with every other contending team.

Next. 3 Keys To Defeating The Clippers. dark

The hope is that they will extend this streak Sunday afternoon against the LA Clippers in the Clash of LA.