LeBron James scored a season-high 34 points in the opener of a seven-game road trip, helping the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106.
LA (12-4) bounced back on Thursday night after blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of a two-point loss to Golden State on Monday, while the Bucks (9-6) dropped their second straight.
The Lakers shot 19 of 37 from three-point range, with James going 6-of-10 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 7-of-10. Caldwell-Pope finished with 23 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, but he also committed nine turnovers, while Jrue Holiday scored 22 points and Khris Middleton 20 for the Bucks.
This game pitted the reigning NBA champion Lakers against a Bucks team that has posted the league’s best regular-season record each of the last two years.
It also featured the top two vote-getters in the 2019-20 MVP balloting. Antetokounmpo won the award for a second straight season while James, a four-time MVP, finished a distant second.
The Lakers led 63-57 after a first half that featured seven ties and nine lead changes.
Caldwell-Pope and James opened the third quarter with consecutive three-pointers that extended the lead.
The Bucks cut the deficit to just two when Middleton drove the baseline and scored with three minutes remaining but Caldwell-Pope answered by sinking a corner three-pointer and the Lakers’ lead didn’t drop below four points the rest of the way.
Los Angeles extended their franchise-best road start to 8-0.
Anthony Davis had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the visitors while Brook Lopez chipped in with 13 points for Milwaukee.