With new-addition center Andre Drummond, the Los Angeles Lakers had a strong first quarter performance against the Milwaukee Bucks. They went 8-13 from the three-point range with forwards Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris leading the offense. The Lakers only had two turnovers.
Three-pointers was something the squad worked on during their practice on Tuesday.
“We really shot the ball well from the perimeter,” said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. “We’re playing the right way offensively, generating high quality looks.”
Drummond attracted a lot of attention in the paint, which helped the Lakers gain a 30-24 lead at the end of the first quarter. Vogel noted how Drummond will be helpful to the Lakers defense.
“You see the physical presence that he brings, the athleticism, blocking shots at the rim,” Vogel said. “The ability to move his feet and contain while taking the big shoulder contact and staying in there.”
The reigning champions could not keep up their momentum; they went 0-5 in three-pointers in the second quarter while Bucks forward Khris Middleton shot with accuracy. To add more insult to injury, Drummond noticed a pain in his foot. He mentioned that Bucks center Brook Lopez stepped on his foot during the first quarter.
“I didn’t really think anything of it. I came back in the second quarter, it was hurting a little bit more.” Drummond said. “Then after halftime I finally took my sock off to look and my whole toenail was gone.”
The pain of the lost toenail kept him from returning to the game early in the third phase. As the second half continued, the Lakers shot quality deteriorated.
“We started missing some shots so we was a little hesitant,” Morris said.
Center Montrezl Harrell remained consistent, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the third period. However, the Bucks led by as much as 20 points.
Drummond scored four points, one rebound, two assists, and one block. Morris had experienced losing a toenail, it took one and a half months until it felt better.
“You don’t realize how much your toes is rubbing against the top of your shoes or using your toe for power,” Morris said.
The excitement to compete was palpable for Drummond, he has not played NBA basketball in over a month.
“In that first quarter, a lot of energy from our guys and myself,” he said. “We’re having a lot of fun out there. It’s just unfortunate to that to happen.”
The Lakers flaunted their depth, holding Marc Gasol until the fourth quarter where he made three rebounds, two blocks, and one steal.
“Marc stepped in and was a true professional,” said guard Wesley Matthews. “Came in and got stops for us, makes plays on the defensive end that were great.”
The Lakers now embark on a road trip, playing the Sacramento Kings on April 2 at 7:00P.M.