After splitting the first two games in Milwaukee, the Lakers opened the first of their two games in Los Angeles with a 112-90 win over the Bucks, on the back of a dominant performance from Anthony Davis.
Going into this Finals series, the matchup everyone was excited for was the matchup between LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo — the old guard vs. the new guard. However, it was Davis that stole the show on Wednesday. In 33 minutes of playing time, Davis scored 38 points, including 20 points in the first half. He also contributed 12 rebounds and a block.
Davis’ strong first half allowed the Lakers to go into halftime with a comfortable nine-point lead. It also didn’t hurt that Giannis Antetokounmpo went 0-3 from the field in the second quarter and scored zero points. It didn’t get much better for Antetokounmpo from that point on, as he ended the night with just 15 points.
He was more productive on the defensive end, but the Bucks didn’t follow his lead. For example, while Antetokounmpo swatted away four shots, his four blocks were the blocks only on the team. That’s probably why the Lakers outscored the Bucks 52-30 in the paint.
The Lakers can’t count on Antetokounmpo to have a pedestrian night on a consistent basis, nor can they expect the Bucks to play poor defense every game, but they can rely on their two superstars to take advantage of the situation when he does.
The Lakers now hold a 2-1 lead in the season series. They’ll host the Bucks for Game 4 on Sunday.