Davis leads Lakers comeback over Bucks in overtime thriller

LOS ANGELES: Anthony Davis led an impressive late comeback as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 128-124 in double overtime on Tuesday (March 26).

With LeBron James out due to injury, the ailing Davis spent nearly 52 minutes on the court to lead the Lakers to victory against an in-form Bucks team that entered the clash on a six-game winning streak.

Davis finished the game with 34 points, 23 rebounds and two assists, while also managing four blocks in an outstanding defensive performance.

The Lakers veteran was supported offensively by Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell, who both scored 29 points each.

Reaves achieved only the second triple-double of his career with 14 rebounds and 10 assists as well as 29 points.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, was wondering where it all went wrong after leading the game from the start of the first quarter until the Lakers tied it at 101-101 with 44 seconds left thanks to two free throws from Taurean Prince.

Through two volatile periods of overtime, the lead swung back and forth until a 28-foot 3-pointer from Reaves and two free throws from Russell gave the Lakers a decisive 126-121 lead with 14 seconds left.

Malik Beasley’s three-pointer cut the deficit to two points for Milwaukee, but two more free throws from Davis sealed the win.

“It was a great team win,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said afterwards.

“The boys did it – they got together again and worked each other’s asses off. It was a great start to a six-game road trip.”

Reaves, meanwhile, praised Davis’ fighting performance. The 31-year-old apparently struggled with mobility for most of the game after suffering a knee injury in a collision with Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton.

“He just wanted to keep fighting with us,” Reaves said of Davis. “Every time he’s on the pitch he makes an impression.”

“A good lesson”

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee in scoring with 29 points, while Damian Lillard finished with 27 points.

Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, said his team paid the price for keeping the game out of reach after twice jumping out to double-digit leads.

“When your team is down 18 points, you have a chance to extend the lead to 30, and we didn’t do that,” Rivers said.

“Instead we let it go from 18 to 10 and that gave them hope. This will be a good lesson for us.”

With the win, the Lakers are firmly on track to at least secure a spot in the play-in tournament. The Lakers are in ninth place in the Western Conference with a record of 40-32. The Bucks remain second in the Eastern Conference despite trailing 46-26.

In other games on Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors boosted their hopes of reaching the postseason with a huge 113-92 road win over the Miami Heat.

Klay Thompson scored 28 points off the bench, including six three-pointers, while Jonathan Kuminga added 18 points. Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins added 17 each as the Warriors improved to 37-34 and remained in 10th place in the West.

Meanwhile in New Orleans, the Oklahoma City Thunder kept the pressure on Western Conference leader Denver with a 119-112 victory over the Pelicans.

Zion Williamson finished the game with 29 points and 10 assists for New Orleans, but the Thunder’s balanced offense secured them a win, leaving them a half game behind Denver in the West at 50-21.

Jalen Williams finished the game with 26 points, while Josh Giddey added 25 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 24 for the Thunder.

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