Talen Horton-Tucker dribbles against the Bucks
Talen Horton-Tucker dribbles against the Bucks
Ned Dishman

Lakers Fall to 8-8 in First Road Game vs. Bucks

by Taylor Geas

Game one of the Lakers' five-game road trip tipped off tonight in Milwaukee where the 2020 NBA Champions took on the 2021 NBA Champions. LA fell to Milwaukee 109-102.

Los Angeles started strong but then stepped off the gas for a bit and allowed the Bucks full control in the paint, especially Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (47 pts, 9 reb) who had produced 30 points by halftime. Then the Lakers did some fine-tuning at the half, found a way to manage the Greek Freak in the third, and cut the 11-point deficit down to only two heading into the fourth.

After his career-high 28 points versus the Chicago Bulls, Talen Horton-Tucker (25 pts, 12 reb) charged up the offense again in his third game back. The 20-year-old continues to be a force. Coach Frank Vogel spoke of Talen’s “inner confidence,” which is personified by his reverse layups, drives to the rim, and physicality in the paint.

Statistically, tonight’s contest was fairly even. Russell Westbrook (19 pts, 15 reb) looked to optimize the paint after the second on his way to notching a double-double. Russ had a couple of turnovers at the start but found composure and didn’t commit another the rest of the match.

The Lakers are still cool from three, shooting only 27% on the night, which stunted their momentum as they tried to fight back against Milwaukee.

Anthony Davis (18 pts, 9 reb), who went 9-for-15 from the field, said postgame that the Lakers, "put a team together and we haven’t seen it yet” as Los Angeles continues to lean on their small lineup while they await the return of LeBron James and Trevor Ariza.

The Purple and Gold continue their journey East and will face Boston in the Garden on Friday.

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