After scoring a franchise record 51 points in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks, and defeating said team by upwards of 30 points, of course the Lakers would lose to the team with the very worst record just two days later. Such is the ridiculousness of their season.
It’s hard to imagine the Lakers’ 24 wins isn’t the worst in the NBA, but the Milwaukee Bucks have 14 victories after tonight’s game, and two of those were against the purple and gold. Yes, the worst team in the league swept their season series against the Lakers. It’s been that kind of season.
The Lakers started out well enough, leading by as much as nine points in the first half before the Bucks rallied in the second quarter to get within just two points heading into halftime. They tried to keep up with the home team in the second half, but couldn’t keep the ball in their possession and even worse, couldn’t keep Milwaukee from scoring. Bucks won, 108-105.
Jordan Hill – Hill had another huge night after his fine performance on Sunday against Orlando. Without his production tonight, this game might’ve been a lot worse for the Lakers. Hill was two points shy of the scoring leader of the night (Brandon Knight, 30 points on 12-21) with his 28 points on an efficient 13-17 from the field and 16 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end.
Bench – Keeping in step with their reputation as one of the most productive benches in the league, the Laker reserves outscored Milwaukee’s 46-24, led by Nick Young’s 17 points.
Turnovers and Defense – The Lakers outscored the Bucks in the paint (52-48) and in second chance points (23-12). They outrebounded Milwaukee 38-33 (13-9 on the offensive glass) and had more assists as well (23-15). All these would have produced a win if they a) weren’t so careless with the ball and b) if they put as much effort into the defense as they do their offense. The Lakers turned the ball over 20 times, giving away 20 points to their opponents as a result. The Bucks turned it over just as much with 19, something the Lakers could have taken advantage of if they weren’t turning the ball over. As far as the defense goes, Milwaukee had one bad quarter, the fourth, in which they shot just 37%, but their shooting percentage in the first three quarters were as follows: 57%, 69%, 65%. The way they were defending (or not defending), there was no way the Lakers were going to win this game.
Tonight’s game was the Lakers’ last against an Eastern Conference team. Next two contests are against the Minnesota Timberwolves, followed by a team who revels in beating the purple and gold – the Phoenix Suns.