With many players out for the Lakers, including LeBron James and Austin Reaves, they didn’t have enough firepower to compete with the Milwaukee Bucks and the debut of the duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard losing 108-97 at home.
Anthony Davis played 19 minutes and scored 16 points and grabbed 7 rebounds and Max Christie gave a strong performance off the bench with 10 points.
L.A. rolled out a starting five of D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince, Rui Hachimura, Christian Wood and Anthony Davis, which provided the Lakers with a big lineup. This unit held their own against the Bucks starters and led by as many as eight in the opening quarter.
Cam Reddish and the Lakers reserves came in and held their own during the first half shift. Jaxson Hayes had a couple of nice blocks, Reddish was crashing the boards and Max Christie had five points after two quarters. However, Giannis was as ferocious as ever attacking the basket and his 16-point first half alongside Lillard’s 11 gave the Bucks a three-point lead at the half.
Not a surprise, but Davis’ night ended in the first half and the Bucks took advantage going on a 7-0 run against a Lakers unit filled with inexperience and unfamiliarity playing together. Christie was aggressive and had a couple of nice drives attempting to jumpstart this Lakers offense. The sophomore guard appears ready to take a jump forward this season.
The closing quarter was the South Bay Lakers look with Colin Castleton, D’Moi Hodge, Maxwell Lewis, Alex Fudge and Damion Baugh taking the floor. This group failed to score during the opening minutes of the fourth as the purple and gold didn’t put up a point until the 8:06 mark.
Colin Castleton had a couple of strong dunks to get the hosts within five, but a Cam Payne runner followed by a Lakers turnover and a Pat Connaughton three sealed the final result, giving the purple and gold their third preseason loss.
The Lakers have looked relatively good night in and night out during this preseason run, regardless of who was missing. The offensive philosophies are being executed and their ability to stay in every game is a testament to the depth and focus of every player up and down the roster.
With one preseason game left and LeBron having played in two of the three games he aimed to participate in, it seems likely the Lakers will be at full force — save for Jarred Vanderbilt — on Thursday when they play the Phoenix Suns in their final preseason game.
The dress rehearsal will be on NBA TV nationally and Spectrum SportsNet locally and will take place at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.