LOS ANGELES — Greg Monroe, D’Angelo Russell, and Nick Young were all ejected during a third quarter scuffle, but the Milwaukee Bucks held on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-103.
In the third quarter, Nick Young responded to being fouled harder than he thought appropriate by shoving Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon. Greg Monroe defended his teammate by shoving Young, which got L.A.’s D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram involved. A Bucks security guard also got involved, which didn’t sit well with Lakers coach Luke Walton.
”If there’s nothing wrong with that, then I have no problem finding some people to hire on our staff next time we get in a skirmish,” Walton said. ”The refs don’t say anything about that, and he puts his hands on one of our players. He works for them. He can touch [Milwaukee’s] players all he wants. Don’t touch my damn players. Because if that’s okay, I’m sure we can find a couple of people here in L.A. that want that job working for the Lakers, too.”
That exchange allowed the Lakers to go on a late run, but Khris Middleton scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Bucks out in front for their eighth win in nine games and solidify their spot in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee has now evened up its record at 34-34 with a chance to earn its second winning season in 14 years. The win officially knocked the Lakers out of playoff contention, extending their franchise-record-long drought to four seasons without a postseason appearance. Their previous drought lasted just two seasons.
MILWAUKEE — One day after learning forward Jabari Parker would be gone for the season (torn ACL), the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t muster enough for a comeback, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 122-114.
The night started off on the wrong foot, with Milwaukee allowing a season-high 47 points in the opening quarter. From there, the Bucks tried to battle back the rest of the night, eventually using a 14-0 fourth-quarter run to close the gap to five. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 41 points, adding eight rebounds and six assists in the loss.
”At the end of the day, you just want to win, especially against a team like the Lakers,” Antetokounmpo said. ”They aren’t a playoff team.”
Nick Young led the way for Los Angeles with 26 points, converting on the rare four-point play twice in one night.
”I was thinking, OK, this is one of them nights,” Young said.
It marked the 12th loss in 14 outings for the Bucks, with rookie Thon Maker replacing Parker in the lineup. Maker contributed seven points and six rebounds in 17 minutes of playing time. Khris Middleton came off the bench to play nearly 21 minutes, scoring six points on 2-of-7 shooting.
Middleton won’t make the trip to Indiana Saturday night when they visit the Pacers at 6 p.m.