Three of the marquee teams in the league continued their dominance over the league, when the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets all won on Wednesday night.
To start the action, the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic, 96-87, to improve to 22-3 on the season. The talk lately has been if the Lakers can win 70-plus games, which they shouldn’t drive to do. Once the season starts to wind down and they can lock up the number one seed, then they should start load managing the veteran players and make sure the roster is well rested for the playoffs.
In the win, LeBron James had a 25-11-10 triple double, while Anthony Davis scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Both players are in the MVP discussion, and Davis is the talks to be the Defensive Player of the Year at the end of the season. They are the number one seed in the Western Conference by a wide margin.
Next were the Rockets, who were blessed by a 55-point James Harden performance. In the game, Harden made 10 three-pointers and five free throws, which is the 17th occurrence in the history of the NBA for that to happen. A high scoring performance with only five free throw attempts is a rarity for Harden, who relies on double digit points from the free throw line. The Rockets improve to 16-8 on the season, which is good enough for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
The Bucks, even without reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, beat the New Orleans Pelicans 127-112. Giannis is the best player on the team and maybe in the league, but the supporting cast were able to handle the young Pelicans. Both Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton scored over 20 points, with Ersan Ilyasova scoring in double digits to help. Like the Lakers, the Bucks are 22-3. The Bucks have now won 16 straight games, the longest such streak of this season. The true test for the Bucks will be in the postseason, when they’re forced to play the Celtics or 76ers for a chance to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.