LeBron James scored a season-high 34 points as the Los Angeles Lakers won their eighth straight road game to start the season with a 113-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
The victory opened a seven-game road trip for the first-place Lakers, who are hoping this is the beginning of another win streak. They had a five-game winning streak snapped in their most recent outing, a 115-113 loss to Golden State.
James made a clutch three-pointer and capped his night with an emphatic double-clutch slam dunk as the Lakers improved to a NBA best 12-4 on the season after Thursday’s gritty performance at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 23 points and Anthony Davis finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in the win. Caldwell-Pope sank seven-of-10 threes.
Going on a seven-game road trip might be a daunting task for some teams but not the Lakers, who have excelled away from Staples Center arena this season by compiling a franchise-best 8-0 start on the road.
“We still have a lot to improve on,” said Caldwell-Pope. “It is coming along. We are just playing for each other.”
The Lakers made 19-of-37 from beyond the arc and bottled up Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Antetokounmpo had a career-high nine turnovers.
Jrue Holiday tallied 22 points and Khris Middleton scored 20 for the Bucks, who lost just their second game of the season at home and have lost two straight for the first time this season.
The Lakers started the fourth with a five-point lead, 86-81, but quickly extended that to 11 points. The Bucks took advantage of some sloppy Laker defence to go on a 9-0 run to close the gap to 98-96 with three minutes to go.
But James and Alex Caruso each drained key three-pointers in the final two minutes. James put the game away in style by driving hard to the basket and dunking it with 15 seconds remaining in the fourth.