The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a would-be blockbuster between the patched-up LA Lakers and slumping Milwaukee Bucks.
13:00 (AEDT), Thu 1st Apr @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 155: Lakers 89 V Bucks 66
Last meeting: January 21, 2021: Lakers 113 d Bucks 106 at Fiserv Forum
Final Thoughts: The depleted LA Lakers are $4 home underdogs against Eastern Conference heavyweights Milwaukee Bucks.
With Anthony Davis and now LeBron James sidelined, the 30-17 Lakers have slipped to fourth in the West. The Nuggets and Trail Blazers are closing in fast.
But after four straight losses, the Lakers have rallied with back-to-back home wins over the Cavaliers (100-86) and Magic (96-93) in recent days. Montrezl Harrell (24 pts, 10 reb) was superb off the bench against the Cavs, while Kyle Kuzma (21 pts, 11 reb) and Dennis Schroder (24 pts, 6 ast) stepped up to thwart the Magic. Harrell (18 pts, 11 reb) was again influential from the bench against Orlando.
The Lakers have acquired big man Andre Drummond, who will start in his franchise debut.
Bucks in a hole
The 29-17 Bucks are striving to bust out of a three-game slide. They have been disappointing in losses to the Celtics (122-114), Knicks (102-96) and Clippers (129-105).
The Bucks led the Clippers by 12 at the end of the first quarter but were swamped thereafter. The efforts of Giannis Antetokounmpo (32 pts, 6 ast) and Jrue Holiday (24 pts, 7 ast) couldn’t halt the onslaught.
After six straight losses in the rivalry, the Lakers have won their last two against the Bucks. LeBron (34 pts, 6 reb, 8 ast) outgunned Giannis (25 pts, 12 reb) in a 113-106 result in Milwaukee in January.
The absence of James, in particular, leaves the Lakers as hefty outsiders. But it’s worth acknowledging the Bucks are just 11-10 on the road – and just 7-14 against the line. The Lakers are 16-10 at home (11-15 ATS).
The Lakers have shown enough fight without their marquee duo to consider backing with a sizeable start.
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|Detroit Pistons V Portland Trail Blazers||Handicap – Trail Blazers -7.5 @ $1.90|
|Indiana Pacers V Miami Heat||Result – Heat @ $1.78|
|Brooklyn Nets V Houston Rockets||Handicap – Nets -12.5 @ $1.90|
|Boston Celtics V Dallas Mavericks||Result – Celtics @ $1.87|
|Memphis Grizzlies V Utah Jazz||Handicap – Jazz -5.5 @ $1.87|
|Oklahoma City Thunder V Toronto Raptors||Handicap – Thunder +8.5 @ $1.87|
|Minnesota Timberwolves V New York Knicks||Handicap – Knicks -3.5 @ $1.90|
|San Antonio Spurs V Sacramento Kings||Result – Spurs @ $1.70|
|Phoenix Suns V Chicago Bulls||Handicap – Suns @ $1.87|