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The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling in recent weeks and their road gets tougher Tuesday when they face the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee. The Bucks have the best record in the NBA at 52-18. The Lakers have lost three straight, including a brutal loss to the lowly Knicks on Sunday. Bucks should win easily, but can they cover?
Lakers hit rock bottom
The Los Angeles hit rock bottom Sunday when they lost to the lowly New York Knicks — the worst team in the NBA. The Lakers had an 11 point lead with less than four minutes left in the game and blew it as New York went on a 13-1 run to close out the 124-123 win. LeBron James had a chance to win it on the final possession, but his final shot was blocked by Mario Hezonja. “It bothers me in the fact we didn’t close the game out, and being the competitor that I am, it bothers me that I didn’t make enough plays down the stretch; it bothers me that I didn’t even get a shot up at the hoop,” James said after the game, reported ESPN. The Lakers dropped to 31-39, which is the same mark they were at last year. James wound up with 33 points, along with 6 rebounds and 8 assists, to lead the Lakers. He was 11 for 26 from the field and 0 for 6 from three-point range. Kyle Kuzma added 18 points and 8 assists for LA. It was their 8th loss in their last 9 games.
Mario Hezonja BLOCKS LeBron to clinch the Knicks' win over LA pic.twitter.com/OdeL77SFJV
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) March 17, 2019
The Lakers are like the walking wounded. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are out for the season. Tyson Chandler and Lance Stephenson are questionable for Tuesday. James has been taking nights off for rest here and there, so be sure to check before game time if he is playing against Milwaukee.
The Lakers average 111.9 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent shooting from three, which is 29th out of 30 teams. They also shoot just 69 percent from the foul line, also 29th. They also have the 27th most turnovers with 25 per game. Defensively, they give up 114 points per game, which is 25th in the league. Opponents shoot 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from three against them. James leads the Lakers with 27.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. Kuzma and Ingram both average 18 points per game, while JaVale McGree averages 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. Ball averages 10 points and 5 assists, while Rajon Rondo averages 9 points and 8 assists.
Bucks drop epic battle with Sixers
Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference hooked up in a classic Sunday as the Bucks fell to the Sixers 130-125 in Milwaukee. The Sixers played one of their best games of the year, but the Bucks charged back late only to fall by five. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge game with 52 points on 15-26 shooting from the field and 19-21 shooting from the foul line. “He carried us for most of that game if not all of it,” the Bucks Khris Middleton said of his teammate. “He wreaked havoc in the paint, got his three-ball going early, got into a great rhythm. He was special tonight. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win for him on a career night.” The Bucks still own the best record in the East at 52-18 and hold on to their three-game lead over Toronto, who lost to the Pistons on Sunday. The Bucks shot 45 percent from the field and drained 16 threes. Middleton had 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while Brook Lopez added 14 points and 4 blocked shots. Antetokounmpo also had 16 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Bucks will be forced to go without Malcolm Brogdon for the next two months as he suffered a heel injury. Donte DiVincenzo is questionable for Milwaukee.
The Bucks average 117.7 points per game, which is second in the NBA. They shoot 47.7 percent from the field, which is third in the league, and 35 percent from three. They also shoot just 77 percent from the foul line. They lead the league in rebounds with 49.3 per game and second in blocked shot with 6 per game. Defensively, they give up 108.6 points per game. Opponents shoot 43 percent from the field against them, which is the best in the NBA, and 35.8 percent from three against them. Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 27.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. He also leads in steals (1.3 per game) and blocked shots (1.4 per game). And he shoots 58 percent from the field. Middleton averages 17 .6 points and 6 rebounds per game, while Eric Bledsoe averages 16 points and Brogdon averages 15 points per game.
- Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
- Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Bucks are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Lakers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Lakers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Lakers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
- Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Go with the Bucks giving up the points. The Lakers are a dead team walking. The Lakers are out of the playoffs and don’t have much to play for, other than lottery positioning. The Bucks need to win every game so they can to hold on to 1st in the east. The last time these two teams met, it was just a few weeks ago when the Bucks won 131-120 in LA. This time around playing in Milwaukee, it will be much worse. Take the Bucks in this one.
Prediction: Bucks -13
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over in this one. The Lakers don’t play much defense to begin with, but now, as they are going through the motions, they will offer little resistance. The Bucks are one of the best scoring teams in the league and they will pour it on. Expect garbage time in this one. The over is 8-0 in Lakers last 8 vs. a team with a winning straight up record. Also, the over is 4-0 in Bucks last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the over.