The Los Angeles Lakers were in desperate need of a win on the heels of their blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls on their home floor, but they didn’t have any answers for the Milwaukee Bucks tonight — specifically Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The reigning Finals MVP put on a clinical display at Fiserv Forum, erupting for a season-high 47 points and nine rebounds on 18-of-23 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, dominating his matchup against Lakers big man Anthony Davis.
Just look at his shot chart from tonight!
In a marquee matchup on ESPN, Antetokounmpo took centre stage, dominating from the outset as he scored 17 of his 28 first-half points in the first quarter alone on 7-of-8 shooting. His 28 points (12-of-13 FGs) in the opening 24 minutes are the second-most he has ever scored in the first half of a game in his career.
By halftime, he (20) had nearly scored as many points in the paint as the entire Lakers team (22).
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 47 points on 18-23 FG (78%).
He’s the 1st player with at least 45 points on 75% shooting against the Lakers since Shaq in March 1995. pic.twitter.com/w0Qcj0rV0p
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 18, 2021
Meanwhile, Davis managed just eight points on 4-of-8 from the field at the break in a one-on-one battle that was mostly one-way traffic. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith joined the halftime show on the broadcast and didn’t hold back, demanding more from the eight-time All-Star.
“It’s unacceptable,” Smith said. “You don’t have to be a top-5 player, fair enough, but Anthony Davis is not good, he is great. To get completely and thoroughly outplayed from an impact perspective to this level, is egregious. We gotta get to a point where we get back to holding so-called stars accountable.
“I’m not saying he’s ‘so called’ because he’s legit, but damn it, step up and handle your business.”
Davis finished the game with 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks on 9-of-15 shooting as the Lakers fall to 8-8 on the season.
The good news for the purple and gold, LeBron James is expected to return to the lineup for Friday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics, the second game of their five-game road trip, but they’ll need more than just LeBron to turn around their slow start to the season.
Starting with Anthony Davis.