Fasten your seat belts, the two best teams in the league will face off Friday night at Staples Center when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Los Angeles Lakers in a possible preview of the NBA Finals. The Bucks have the best record overall lead the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers are second overall in the league and lead the Western Conference.
The Bucks won the initial meeting on December 19 in Milwaukee, 111-104. The stars came out to play in that one, with Giannis Antetokounmpo pacing the Bucks with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
For the Lakers, Anthony Davis scored 36 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and LeBron James had a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Bucks Keep Rolling Along
The Milwaukee Bucks come into play with the league’s best record at 53-9. They won their last game over the Indiana Pacers 119-100 Wednesday night. They continued their streak of winning the game following a loss.
They are 9-9 in that category this season. Milwaukee has won seven of their last eight games and 21 of their last 24. Antetokounmpo scored 29 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and dished out six assists Wednesday against the Pacers after having his worst offensive game of the season in a loss to the Miami Heat on Monday.
In case anyone is wondering how good the Bucks are, they blew a 22-point lead to the Pacers Wednesday, and still won the game by 19 points.
The Bucks lead the league in scoring, averaging 119.1 points per game. They shoot 47.9% from the field and 35.8% from three-point range. Defensively, the Bucks allow 106.7 points per game and their defensive rating of 101.0 leads the league.
Offensively, the Bucks are led by Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Both players were all-stars and shoulder the offensive load for Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo averages 29.6 points and 13.8 rebounds, while Middleton averages 20.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Lakers Look to Even Season Series
The Los Angeles Lakers come into play with the league’s second-best record at 47-13. They are five games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference.
The Lakers have won nine of their last 10 games, including a 120-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. Davis scored 37 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and collected four steals in the victory.
Los Angeles turned a 13-point second quarter deficit to an 11-point halftime lead and never looked back. Davis was 7-7 from the field in the second quarter and scored 18 points during that stanza.
He was 13-19 overall from the field. James scored 22 points, dished out 14 assists, and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Lakers average 114.6 points per game, good for seventh in the league. They shoot 48.7% from the floor, which leads the league, and 35.9% from behind the arc. The Lakers allow 107.1 points per game and their defensive rating of 105.8 is third in the league.
Offensively, they are led by Davis and James. Davis is averaging 26.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while James is averaging 25.4 points and 10.7 assists, along with 7.8 rebounds per contest.
Betting Lines and Predictions
MyBookie currently does not have a moneyline on this game and the spread is a pick ‘em. The over/under is 227.5. Milwaukee comes into the game with a record of 35-26-0 ATS, while the Lakers are 32-26-1 ATS.
These two teams are so evenly matched that home court advantage will come into play even though the Bucks are such a good road team. Take the Lakers and the over in this one.