Unfortunately, Game 1 didn’t exactly live up to the hype.
On Thursday, the Lakers beat the Bucks 125-94 at the Fiserv Forum. The 31-point led that the Lakers ended the game with was their largest lead of the night. Additionally, the Bucks’ 31-point loss was their worst loss of the postseason.
The Lakers’ defense was the key to their statement win in Milwaukee, and they made sure to lock in as soon as the ball tipped off. In the first quarter, Los Angeles held the Milwaukee Bucks to just 18 points compared to their 35. Antetokounmpo scored 2 points on 0-5 shooting from the field.
Unfortunately for Antetokounmpo, his scoring woes didn’t end there. For the game, he scored 20 points on 8-21 shooting from the field. He helped on the defensive end, where he picked up 13 rebounds and 3 blocks, but his offense and the lack of help he got from his teammates negated that. The Lakers, on the other hand, just couldn’t miss.
As a team, the Lakers shot 56%, with Anthony Davis and James leading the way with a combined 61 points on an efficient 24-45 shooting from the field. Davis put up a game-high 31 points, but it was James that stuffed the box score with 8 rebounds, 12 assists and 2 blocks.
Davis and James’ supporting cast got it done too. The three other starters — Dion Waiters, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard — each finish the game in double figures. Howard notched 10-point, 15-rebound double-double, while Rondo tallied 10 points and 10 assists. To round things off, Waiters scored 15 points and added 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The Lakers’ bench was a little lackluster — so much so that the Bucks’ bench outside theirs — but it didn’t matter because of how dominant the starters were.
This might not be how the rest of the series go, but the veteran-heavy Lakers definitely showed they’re not going to get run off of the floor by the young Bucks. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday.