Giannis Drops 47 in Dominant Performance as Bucks Beat Anthony Davis, Lakers

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 18, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after scoring during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

In the battle of the past two NBA champions on Wednesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks came out victorious.

Led by another monster performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo and an inspired showing from Bobby Portis, the Bucks knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-102.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Can't stop, won't stop showing you every Giannis 3. 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/OU24E0iQw1">pic.twitter.com/OU24E0iQw1</a>


"That is a portrait of intensity."<br><br>Bobby Portis things on ESPN 💯 <a href="https://t.co/zrbsmcs39r">pic.twitter.com/zrbsmcs39r</a>


17 points.<br>8-11 shooting.<br>3 offensive boards.<br>Bobby Portis is having fun.<a href="https://twitter.com/Bucks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bucks</a> lead at halftime on ESPN <a href="https://t.co/xYz9Xr2KPf">pic.twitter.com/xYz9Xr2KPf</a>

While Khris Middleton returned to action for the first time since Oct. 30 for Milwaukee (7-8), LeBron James missed his eighth straight game for the Lakers. Los Angeles (8-8) is just 4-4 in those contests.

Perhaps the Lakers' night could best be summed up by this Russell Westbrook gaffe:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Westbrook tried to keep the play going 😅 <a href="https://t.co/tiGd5StCQw">pic.twitter.com/tiGd5StCQw</a>

Neither team will be particularly thrilled with how it's started the season. But the Bucks looked the part of the defending champions Wednesday, beating the short-handed Lakers. 

Key Stats

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL: 47 points, nine rebounds, 18-of-23 from the field

Bobby Portis, MIL: 17 points, five rebounds

Khris Middleton, MIL: 16 points, six assists, five rebounds

Anthony Davis, LAL: 18 points, nine rebounds

Russell Westbrook, LAL: 19 points, 15 assists

Talen Horton-Tucker, LAL: 25 points, 12 rebounds

Giannis Is Downright Unstoppable

If this game was only two quarters, the Greek Freak would have had himself a game.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Giannis Antetokounmpo has 28 points at halftime, the 2nd-most in a 1st half in his career.<br><br>He has nearly as many points in the paint (20) as the Lakers do as a team (22). <a href="https://t.co/LfWzoWV7KN">pic.twitter.com/LfWzoWV7KN</a>


Giannis inside.<br>Giannis outside.<br><br>17 in the 1Q for Giannis on ESPN 💥 <a href="https://t.co/coz6P3CUXr">pic.twitter.com/coz6P3CUXr</a>

Kane Pitman @KanePitman

That entire first half was Giannis staring Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard and any other Laker in the face and deciding he's going to score over them, around them or through them.

But it lasted four, of course, giving Antetokounmpo the chance to add to his dominant first half. He didn't disappoint.

And in the superstar showdown between Giannis and AD, there was a pretty clear winner.

Mo Dakhil @MoDakhil_NBA

Giannis almost gets stripped but he recovers it for the dunk. But more importantly, just look at him just run through Davis. <a href="https://t.co/S09YBpALsK">pic.twitter.com/S09YBpALsK</a>

sam esfandiari @samesfandiari

I hope anyone who tried to comp AD to Giannis deleted all their tweets. That’s embarrassing stuff

This man is a two-time MVP and the defending Finals MVP for a reason. Giannis doesn't miss an opportunity to remind the NBA world of his supremacy.

With LeBron Out, the Lakers Needed More from AD

In a game devoid of James, you would expect Davis or perhaps Westbrook to lead the Lakes in scoring. Instead, on Wednesday, it was Talen Horton-Tucker.

That isn't going to cut it, even if Davis was slightly hobbled at one point.

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha

The Lakers say Anthony Davis took a knee to his hip -- he was moving gingerly late in the third quarter -- but he will return to tonight's game.

His one highlight moment came on this dunk:

ESPN @espn

AD DETONATES OVER GIANNIS 😤 <a href="https://t.co/xTDV03MOVy">pic.twitter.com/xTDV03MOVy</a>

Davis' inability to take over the game, like his superstar counterpart Antetokounmpo, was the difference in this one. At some point, the Lakers are supposed to transition from being LeBron's team to one that follows AD.

Wednesday was another reminder that such a time hasn't come, at least not yet.

What's Next?

The Lakers stay on the road, traveling to Boston to face the Celtics on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Bucks are in action that same night, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET.