Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Bucks – Game 21

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (9-12) | Milwaukee Bucks (15-6)


The Lake Show defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in their own building 133-129 due to the spectacular performance from Anthony Davis and their stellar play as a team


Lakers vs Bucks
Photo Credit: ESPN

Both Troy Brown Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV were available after missing the last game with left foot soreness. Dennis Schröder, on the other hand, was listed as out for personal reasons.

Khris Middleton also made his season debut for the Bucks.

Mike Budenholzer told reporters before the game about his former assistant Darvin Ham, “He’s a leader. Even as an assistant here. He has an unbelievable combination of toughness and grit. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of Darvin. At the same time, he’s incredibly caring and thoughtful.”

The Lakers’ starters vs. Milwaukee were Brown Jr., Walker IV, Patrick Beverley, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.

Beverley hit a triple after an 0 for four start from the field for the Lake Show, then scored at the rim with the Bucks shadowing Davis, as the Lakers trailed 7-6 early.

The Bucks started the game off right as Brook Lopez hit a three and came back down to block Walker IV’s layup attempt. Then Middleton scored his first points from mid-range.

Davis was up to seven points after drilling a pair of jumpers to go with a dunk and a defensive three-second free throw, helping the Lake Show take a 15-12 lead into the first time out. It’s a 14-5 run after Milwaukee opened up 7-1.

After battling back from the break, Bobby Portis tied the game with a tip-in, and Jrue Holiday took the lead with a pull-up three in transition. Davis made back-to-back hook shots inside to bring it within one. Russell Westbrook drove inside and dumped it down to Davis, who dunked it through to take the lead.

Milwaukee had no answer for Davis, but he got hit with his second personal foul after slight contact with Portis under the rim. Davis rested with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Middleton threw the lob up to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he threw it down to tie the game. Austin Reaves then drew a charge on Antetokounmpo to end the first. He’s now eighth in the NBA in that category.

It was a solid first quarter for the Lake Show against the 15-5 Bucks, as they took a 33-31 lead. Davis was the key, with 13 points on 6 of 8 field goals. Brown Jr. chipped in seven points, and Westbrook with five assists. The Lakers were up two, and James hadn’t scored yet. The bench tandem of Westbrook and Reaves gave the Lake Show a nice boost as they were +5 in their five minutes. Los Angeles had nine assists and just one turnover.

James finally got on the board with a spin layup to kick off the second quarter, which kickstarted a terrific start to the second quarter for the Lake Show, who used an 8-3 run to force a time-out, leading 41-34. James had 6 of the 8 points, both on Westbrook assists leading him to the rim after James rolled off a screen.

Reaves drew his second charge of the night, this time on Holiday. Davis faked the three, getting Lopez to jump, and took one dribble for a flashy two-handed dunk. He was now up to 19 points on 9 of 11 field goals.

But a 7-0 run for the Bucks had the score at 61-53, with the Lakers still in the lead with 1:26 remaining in the second quarter. To end the second quarter, Antetokounmpo tried a three but airballed miserably. Davis came back down and drilled a tough 1-footed jumper to nearly beat the first-half buzzer.

The Lakers took a 61-47 lead with 4:08 to go before Milwaukee scored impressively in the final 4 minutes.


At halftime, the score read Lakers 66, Bucks 58. That was one of the Lake Shows’ best halves of the season. They were scoring at will against an elite defense. Davis had 23 points and was the best player on the floor, yet weirdly he had zero rebounds. James had 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists. The Lakers had 17 assists and two turnovers.


Lakers vs Bucks
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

The Bucks were red hot to start the third quarter, hitting 5 of 8 field goals with three triples to trim the Lakers’ lead down to two.

Davis got back to work with a jumper over Lopez. Pat Connaughton made a three, and it was a one-point game. Holiday took the lead with a three, but Walker IV took the lead right back with back-to-back threes.

The Lake Show took that early third-quarter punch from the Bucks and responded, using a 16-4 run to open a 93-83 lead. Davis was up to 27 points and blocked Antetokounmpo to spark a fast break that Walker IV finished in style.

Westbrook got his tenth assist to Wenyen Gabriel, who threw down an aggressive dunk. To close out the third quarter, Antetokounmpo got fouled at the rim and converted the and-1.

The Lakers took a 101-97 lead into the fourth quarter after surviving an offensive onslaught from Milwaukee in the third. The Bucks scored 39 points after managing 31 and 27 in the first and second quarters. Despite that, the Lake Show had 101 points through three quarters against the NBA’s No. 1 defense, shooting 54.9%, and 16 of 18 at the free throw line.

James tied Magic Johnson for sixth on the all-time assists list, with a feed to Davis for a hoop over Antetokounmpo. Middleton, in his first game since April, drained a three to cut the lead to one. On the next play, Middleton fell on top of James’ left ankle, and James (who just turned that ankle a few days ago) stayed down for a bit. However, he stayed in the game and hit a contested fading jumper to put the Lakers up 109-106.

With his ninth assist of the game, James passed Johnson for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time assists list. Next up? 5. Mark Jackson – 10,334, 6. James – 10,142 Via Lakers PR.

James then got some of his own medicine, as he was chase-down blocked by Antetokounmpo, keeping the Laker lead at two with seven minutes to play.

Davis tipped in a miss from James, drilled his second three of the quarter, then blocked Holiday on the other end to start a fast break. The Lakers led 122-120. But Antetokounmpo took the lead with an and-1 layup.

James retook the lead with a spot up three from the left wing. Davis took Lopez one-on-one and scored over him to keep the lead at three points. Middleton then fumbled a pass, and Westbrook dove on the floor for it, leading to James getting it to Davis, and he got the easy dunk.

Lopez scored on the other end, and it was 132-129 with the Lake Show in the lead with 45.6 seconds remaining. Westbrook was sent to the line as the Bucks needed to foul, but he missed both free throws. However, Milwaukee wasn’t able to score, they fouled Davis, and he made a free throw. That ended up being the end of this game-of-the-year candidate as the final score read Lakers 133, Bucks 129.

Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Bucks
Photo Credit: Sportsratrion

The Lakers beat 15-5 Milwaukee in their building, one of the best Lakers wins in a while. Davis was spectacular with 44 points (18 of 27 overall), ten rebounds, and four blocks. This was Davis’ first 40-point game since 5/9/21 against the Phoenix Suns

James had 28 points and 11 assists. With tonight’s win, James became the seventh player in NBA history to record 900 career victories via Lakers PR. Westbrook contributed 15 points and 11 assists.

Antetokounmpo recorded 40 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Middleton, in his debut, had 17 points on 3-4 from three and seven assists. Holiday had 28 points on 6-12 from three, six rebounds, and nine assists.

It’s an honor for me to try to carry on his legacy while I play this game,” James told Mike Trudell on passing Johnson for No. six on the NBA’s all-time assists list.

Ham told reporters after the game, “It was awesome to see everybody coming together and competing against that team. The focus, the attention to detail, everybody being engaged. This just can’t be a one-game thing. This is something we have to do every time we step on the floor.”


The Lakers will continue their six-game road trip with a game in Washington, D.C., to take on the Washington Wizards. They’ll face off Sunday, December 4th, at 3:00 p.m. PT at the Capital One Arena. The game will be available on NBA League Pass, NBC Sports Washington, and Spectrum SportsNet.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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