Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 47 points and Khris Middleton tied Milwaukee’s franchise record for career 3 points as the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 on Wednesday night.
Middleton returned after missing eight games due to COVID-19 and scored three straight runs 30 seconds apart at the start of the fourth quarter to put the Bucks ahead. The second of those 3 was his 1,051st with the Bucks to tie Ray Allen for first place on the team’s all-time roster.
Allen holds the NBA record with 2,973 3 points in a career that also included stints with the Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
LeBron James missed an eighth consecutive game for the Lakers with abdominal strain. The Lakers have gone 3-5 during that streak.
Talen Horton-Tucker scored 25 points for the Lakers two nights after reaching a career-high 28 in a 121-103 loss to Chicago. Russell Westbrook had 19 points, Anthony Davis 18, Malik Monk 11 and Carmelo Anthony 10.
Antetokounmpo recorded his highest point total since scoring 50 in a Game 6 final win over the Phoenix Suns that clinched Milwaukee’s first title since 1971.
Bobby Portis added 17 points for the Bucks. Middleton and Pat Connaughton had 16 each.
This was only the third game of the season in which the Bucks had their top three players – Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Jrue Holiday – all available. The only other times were a season-opening 127-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets and a 121-111 triumph in San Antonio on October 23.
Bucks center Brook Lopez hasn’t played since that Nets game due to a back problem and goaltender Donte DiVincenzo has yet to make his season debut. DiVincenzo tore a ligament in his left ankle in the first round of the 2020-21 playoffs.
Lakers: Coach Frank Vogel spoke pragmatically about changing the name of the Lakers arena. The building known as Staples Center since it opened in October 1999 will become the Crypto.com Arena starting on Christmas Day. “It’s hard, you know what I mean?” said Vogel. “Lakers fans and sports fans in general, I guess, would know this building as Staples Center. I understand the disappointment the fans will have, but that’s just the way the world is. This is the company we are in. Almost everywhere in the country there is a commercial element in naming rights with arenas. It’s really out of our control.
Bucks: That victory sparked a five-game home stand for the Bucks after returning from a five-game road trip. The Bucks went 2-3 on the trip and ended it with losses to Boston and Atlanta.
Lakers: In Boston Friday in Game 2 of a five-game trip.
Bucks: Host Oklahoma City Friday. The Bucks shared two games with the Thunder last season.