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Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers Prediction

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers Prediction

Milwaukee Bucks

January 22

00:30

106 : 113

LA Lakers

Milwaukee Bucks

LA Lakers

Two of the league's best teams clash in the early hours on Friday when the  Milwaukee Bucks (9-5) host the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (11-4) after both suffered narrow but preventable defeats in contrasting circumstances earlier this week.

Stephen Curry was predictably decisive in helping the Golden State Warriors complete an unlikely comeback - down 14 in the fourth quarter - outlasting the Lakers on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, a few hours earlier, it was the combo play of Kevin Durant and new acquisition James Harden which proved key for Brooklyn as they earned a two-point win over the Bucks.

Who will make the necessary adjustments to perform more efficiently in this encounter and importantly, return to winning ways against tough opposition in this cross-conference clash? Read my basketball preview, for the best betting odds ahead of this compelling H2H matchup.

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers Preview

Harden and Durant combined for 64 points on 46 shots (50% total FG), and it was the latter's three-point dagger that sunk an admirable Bucks effort. To make matters worse, Harden had just missed a three of his own - collected the rebound - and threw it straight to KD's path, who made no mistake from deep.

All-Star forward Khris Middleton missed two threes down the other end, including what would've been a dramatic go-ahead triple with 1.1 seconds left and Brooklyn held on.

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't surprised, saying this post-game:

"This is what they do. Wake up, come to the game and score 30. If you're not aggressive and not locked in against them, they're going to score 50."

2-0 since acquiring Harden, who is averaging 33 points and 13 assists since the blockbuster trade, Durant revealed there's still plenty of room for improvement - not least with All-Star guard Kyrie Irving returning imminently.

Middleton had 25 points, four assists and steals while Jrue Holiday recorded 22 with six assists too. Judging by the box score, their scoring efficiency wasn't the issue - nor was turnovers (5) - they really struggled from three-point range (11-of-37, 29.7%). That has to improve.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer said he's looking forward to tougher competition and that continues on Friday against the Lakers, who were stifled by a rousing fourth-quarter effort against Golden State.

LeBron James' layup gave them an 11-point margin heading into the final twelve minutes. Still, Frank Vogel's men were ice cold down the stretch (1-of-14 shooting from the field in the final eight minutes), and wasted possessions saw the Warriors claw their way back into proceedings.

Dennis Schroder led LA with 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Anthony Davis and LeBron combined 36 points on 32 total shots. It goes without saying that they'll do better here, but this matchup could easily be decided by who has the more productive bench unit.

Montrezl Harrell (17 pts, 8 rebs) and Kyle Kuzma (15 pts, 10 rebs) had good nights against the Warriors, while guard Pat Connaughton led Milwaukee's four-man bench with nine points.

Offseason acquisitions D.J. Augustin (0-of-7) and Bryn Forbes (2-of-7, three fouls) largely disappointed, so it'll be interesting to see how they respond among home comforts this time.

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers Betting Tips

ESPN's Basketball Power Index gives Milwaukee a slight advantage (53%) in this matchup, as they did before an entertaining clash unfolded against Brooklyn last time out.

They were a missed three-pointer away from clinching victory that night, and although this will probably prove just as difficult a challenge here, I'd expect they learn from those mistakes and do enough to beat a Lakers side who also had their winning streak snapped too later that night.

Betting against LeBron James is a dangerous game, though, so this could easily go either way.

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Who will win?

Milwaukee Bucks (6)

15.38%

LA Lakers (33)

84.61%

Last matches

Milwaukee Bucks

26-02-2021

129 - 125 New Orleans Pelicans

L
24-02-2021

139 - 112 Minnesota Timberwolves

L
22-02-2021

128 - 115 Sacramento Kings

L
20-02-2021

98 - 85 Oklahoma City Thunder

L
19-02-2021

96 - 110 Toronto Raptors

W
17-02-2021

113 - 124 Toronto Raptors

W
15-02-2021

114 - 109 Oklahoma City Thunder

L
13-02-2021

129 - 115 Utah Jazz

L
11-02-2021

125 - 124 Phoenix Suns

L
09-02-2021

112 - 125 Denver Nuggets

W

LA Lakers

L

114 - 89 Utah Jazz

25-02-2021
W

124 - 127 Washington Wizards

23-02-2021
W

94 - 96 Miami Heat

21-02-2021
W

98 - 109 Brooklyn Nets

19-02-2021
W

104 - 112 Minnesota Timberwolves

17-02-2021
L

122 - 105 Denver Nuggets

15-02-2021
L

115 - 105 Memphis Grizzlies

13-02-2021
L

114 - 113 Oklahoma City Thunder

11-02-2021
L

119 - 112 Oklahoma City Thunder

09-02-2021
L

135 - 129 Detroit Pistons

07-02-2021
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers Head to Head (H2H)
22-01-2021

Milwaukee Bucks

106
113

LA Lakers

Milwaukee Bucks
vs
LA Lakers
Predicted Lineup

Donte DiVincenzo

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Jrue Holiday

Brook Lopez

Khris Middleton

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Anthony Davis

Dennis Schroeder

Marc Gasol

LeBron James

Latest results
Total
Home
Away

129-125 vs New Orleans Pelicans (H)

W

139-112 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (H)

W

128-115 vs Sacramento Kings (H)

W

98-85 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (H)

W

96-110 vs Toronto Raptors (H)

L

113-124 vs Toronto Raptors (H)

L

109-114 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (A)

L

115-129 vs Utah Jazz (A)

L

124-125 vs Phoenix Suns (A)

L

125-112 vs Denver Nuggets (A)

W
L

89-114 vs Utah Jazz (A)

L

124-127 vs Washington Wizards (H)

L

94-96 vs Miami Heat (H)

L

98-109 vs Brooklyn Nets (H)

W

112-104 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (A)

L

105-122 vs Denver Nuggets (A)

W

115-105 vs Memphis Grizzlies (H)

W

114-113 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (H)

W

119-112 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (H)

W

135-129 vs Detroit Pistons (H)

129-125 vs New Orleans Pelicans (H)

W

139-112 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (H)

W

128-115 vs Sacramento Kings (H)

W

98-85 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (H)

W

96-110 vs Toronto Raptors (H)

L

113-124 vs Toronto Raptors (H)

L
L

124-127 vs Washington Wizards (H)

L

94-96 vs Miami Heat (H)

L

98-109 vs Brooklyn Nets (H)

W

115-105 vs Memphis Grizzlies (H)

W

114-113 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (H)

W

119-112 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (H)

W

135-129 vs Detroit Pistons (H)

109-114 vs Oklahoma City Thunder (A)

L

115-129 vs Utah Jazz (A)

L

124-125 vs Phoenix Suns (A)

L

125-112 vs Denver Nuggets (A)

W
L

89-114 vs Utah Jazz (A)

W

112-104 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (A)

L

105-122 vs Denver Nuggets (A)

Mosope Ominiyi
20.01.2021

Freelance sports editor and writer. Featured on the Sunday Times, MailOnline and more.

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