Too much Giannis to handle for Lakers

LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – The season for the Los Angeles Lakers continues to go off the rails. The Milwaukee Bucks saw to that. Behind the 44 points and 14 rebounds by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks thumped the Lakers 131-116 in front of a packed house at Arena.

“He made it look easy honestly,” Milwaukee guard Kris Middleton said of Antetokounmpo. “I looked up in the third, fourth quarter and saw he had 35, 38, and I didn’t even know he was anywhere close to that but that just shows the level that he’s playing.

“He’s knocking down his jump shot, he’s got guys going for his pump fake which is going to open up things even more for him. Just the way he let the game come to him and stayed patient. A lot of that stuff made the game easy for me. It’s pretty fun to watch him play.”

February 8, 2022. Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis (3) attempts to block this shot attempt by Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo finished the game with 44 points in Milwaukee’s 131-116 win at Arena. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

Unlike when the Lakers recently roared back from a 21-point deficit to win in overtime against the New York Knicks, there would be no comeback against the Bucks. Milwaukee, probably out to prove why they are the reigning NBA champs, didn’t waste time in letting the Lakers know that fact.

Thanks to a 40-point second quarter, Milwaukee put 78 points on the scoreboard in the first half. Antetokounmpo had 23 of those points.

“Our energy as a group isn’t good right now and we fought, tried to get back in the game, like we did against New York,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said. “Again, to our guys’ credit, we didn’t give up on either game, we came back and won [the] last game, came back, and made it a game this game.”

If the Lakers had aspirations of making a comeback the way the team did against New York, those hopes were dashed in the third quarter when Milwaukee padded its lead to 30. After that, it was pretty much garbage time the rest of the way for both teams.

The Lakers did make a run, however, cutting Milwaukee’s big lead down to 10 points after a Malik Monk dunk, but the Bucks were able to withstand the late rally by Los Angeles.

February 8, 2022. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) on the defense against Milwaukee Bucks forward/center Giannis Antetokounmpo (34). James scored 27 points, but Antetokounmpo and the Bucks earned a 131-116 win at Arena. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“We just gotta make adjustments throughout the game and come out with a sense of urgency and we didn’t,” Lakers guard Russell Westbrook said. “A much better team than the Knicks, obviously, so when you’re playing a championship-caliber team you have to play a certain way and do certain things and we didn’t do those things tonight.”

LeBron James, who finished the game with 27 points, has already moved on from the loss.

“It’s about one game,” James said. “Take it one game at a time. Can’t worry about game 27 at the end of the road, got to worry about the moment and our next opportunity to get better tomorrow night in Portland. We had some good moments tonight against the defending champs but obviously, over the course of 48 minutes they had more moments then we had obviously, show the box score, show in some of the plays on the floor.”