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Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 47, leads Bucks over Lakers

Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 47, leads Bucks over Lakers
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo totaled 47 points on 23 shot attempts in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday in Milwaukee. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 47 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a narrow win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Antetokounmpo made 18 of 23 shots in the 109-102 triumph Wednesday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. He also totaled nine rebounds.

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"I was just trying to hit first, trying to create contact," Antetokounmpo told reporters. 'I wanted to initiate the contact, get in the paint, make the right play and just play with an edge."

The game featured 15 lead changes and was tied six times. The Bucks outscored the Lakers 50-44 in the paint and totaled 18 points off turnovers.

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All-Star forward Khris Middleton returned from an eight-game COVID-19 absence and made two clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for the Bucks. The 3-pointers moved Middleton into a tie with Hall of Famer Ray Allen for first place on the Bucks' career 3-pointers list.

"I just tried to take the best shot possible, play within the game, but be aggressive at the same time," Middleton said. "I just stayed with it and knew at some point I was going to find it."

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The Lakers played without All-Star forward LeBron James for the eighth-consecutive game. James is out with an abdominal strain.

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Forward Talen Horton-Tucker recorded a team-high 25 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday's loss.

Antetokounmpo scored 17 points in the first 12 minutes, but the Lakers took a 32-30 lead into the second quarter. The Bucks outscored the Lakers 34-21 in the frame to take a 64-53 halftime edge.

The Lakers went on a 7-2 run to start the third and put together another 13-3 stretch toward the end of the quarter to cut the Bucks advantage to two points to start the fourth.

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Horton-Tucker scored 11 points in the third quarter.

Malik Monk gave the Lakers an 87-86 edge about 2:31 into the fourth, but Middleton answered with two consecutive made 3-pointers. The Bucks never trailed again.

Antetokounmpo scored 12 points in the final frame. Middleton scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Pat Connaughton also scored 16 off the Bucks bench.

Bucks center Bobby Portis scored 17 points.

Guard Russell Westbrook totaled 19 points and 15 rebounds. Lakers center Anthony Davis totaled 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Monk totaled 11 points off the Lakers bench, but made just 1 of 7 3-point attempts.

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The Lakers (8-8) face the Boston Celtics (7-8) at 7:30 p.m. EST Friday at TD Garden in Boston. The Bucks (7-8) host the Oklahoma City Thunder (6-8) at 8 p.m. EST Friday at Fiserv Forum.

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