MANILA, Philippines – The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t need Giannis Antetokounmpo to drop his usual numbers to lock up the first NBA playoff spot.
Eric Bledsoe unloaded 31 points and Malcolm Brogdon also scored 21 as the Bucks rolled past the Los Angeles Lakers, 131-120, to strengthen their hold of the top spot on Friday, March 1 (Saturday, March 2, Manila time).
Bledsoe and Brogdon starred in a decisive 15-2 run in the closing minutes to seal the Bucks’ eighth straight win and prop up their record to a league-best 48-14.
Despite tallying below his 27-point average, Antetokounmpo still wound up with a double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Brandon Ingram shot 31 points and LeBron James also scored 31 on top of 10 assists and 7 rebounds for the Lakers, who remained out of the playoffs circle at 9th place with a 30-32 slate.
The Lakers led at the half, 65-59, and kept things even, 118-118, in the final quarter before the Bucks launched a huge run behind Bledsoe and Brogdon.
"We play every game. We show up every game. We try to win every game. We trust one another. We play together and we play hard." pic.twitter.com/FFwdI1xFmv— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 2, 2019