NBA Finals Simulation: Lakers vs. Bucks

Welcome to the sixth part of a series simulating the rest of the NBA season on NBA 2K. This portion features a simulation of the NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angles Lakers.

Game 1: Lakers win 122-101

Anthony Davis starred in a blowout win for the Lakers as they took Game 1 at home. The Lakers struggled from behind the arc, making seven threes on 24 percent shooting. In the paint, however, they were unstoppable, scoring 62 paint points. Anthony Davis added 33 points, six rebounds and six assists on a career-high five three-pointers made. LeBron James also impressed, adding 27 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled in his first finals game, scoring just 17 points before fouling out with 10 minutes left in the final quarter. Milwaukee failed to record a 20-point scorer and had trouble taking care of the basketball, turning it over 24 times. 

Game 2: Bucks win 113-108

The Bucks stole Game 2 on the road by a score of 113-108. Milwaukee used an all-around effort to beat the Lakers with seven players in double-figures. Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 24 points and six assists on 11-for-11 shooting from the stripe. Although he won the game, Antetokounmpo struggled yet again, recording only 17 points for the second straight game. Only held to less than 17 points thrice during the regular season, Antetokounmpo will certainly need to play better if the Bucks hope to win the series.

The fact that the Lakers made this a close game is remarkable when considering LeBron James only played 19 minutes. James picked up three early fouls and ultimately found himself on the bench down the stretch as he fouled out with eight minutes remaining. After a spectacular Game 1, Davis struggled with 14 points on seven-for-20 shooting. JaVale McGee was the only reason the Lakers made it as close as it was, as he recorded a season-high 29 points along with 10 assists.

Game 3: Bucks win 135-120

Milwaukee’s big three put on a spectacular showing, scoring 94 points combined and giving the Bucks a 2-1 lead. Following two disappointing performances, Antetokounmpo put on one of his best performances, silencing the haters and showing why he is the MVP with 32 points, 21 rebounds and 11 assists. Antetokounmpo also tacked on four blocks and three steals. His sidekick, Khris Middleton, led the Bucks in scoring for the third straight game, this time scoring 33 points on six of eight shooting from three. Eric Bledsoe had a playoff-high 29 points in only 27 minutes of playing time.

Despite the Lakers losing, James had his best outing of the series so far. He scored 37 points on an efficient 14-for-20 shooting clip from the field. He also tacked on nine rebounds, 13 assists and three steals, but it was ultimately not enough to propel the Lakers to a win. A poor free-throw shooting team the whole season, the Lakers had one of their worst performances of the year: an abysmal 26 of 44 from the line. Kyle Kuzma and Dion Waiters struggled, scoring eight points on two-for-15 shooting combined.

Game 4: Bucks win 127-116

Antetokounmpo followed up his spectacular Game 3 with another beautiful performance, leading the Bucks past the Lakers by a score of 127-116. Up one with four minutes remaining, the Bucks were able to pull away thanks to Antetokounmpo and Middleton, who knocked down four threes combined in the last three minutes. Donte DiVencenzo drew a charge on LeBron James with 4:30 left in the game.

This was LeBron’s sixth foul, forcing him to watch his team get outscored 16-6 in the final four minutes from the bench. Giannis scored 40 points along with 12 rebounds on a spectacular 16-for-23 shooting performance. DiVencenzo added 18 points, all of which came from behind the arc. James did everything in his power to try to steal a game on the road as he put up 38 points and 14 assists while only missing three shots from the field. Davis struggled yet again, only making five field goals despite 18 attempts.

Game 5: Lakers win 131-104

Facing elimination, the Lakers played their best basketball and forced a Game 6. Los Angeles held the Bucks to a mere 37 points in the first half and took a 77-37 lead into halftime. LeBron led the way for the Lakers yet again, posting his second triple-double of the series with 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 14 assists on five-for-eight shooting from three-point land. Kyle Kuzma played his best ball of the series as he dropped 24 points in only 21 minutes. Rajon Rondo also stepped up, dishing out 13 assists along with four steals. The Lakers had twice as many assists and points in the paint as the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo did not disappoint, scoring 28 points on nine-for-14 shooting to go along with his 12 rebounds and seven assists. Despite his impressive play, the Bucks were never able to find their groove as they dropped Game 5 after winning three in a row.

Game 6: Bucks win 122-106

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to win the second NBA title in their franchise history. The Bucks outscored the Lakers 45-31 in the fourth quarter, going 14 of 14 from the free-throw line to ultimately bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to Milwaukee for the first time since 1971. Khris Middleton recorded his second triple-double in his career, scoring 22 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Eric Bledsoe also had an impressive game, scoring 21 points and 11 assists. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the story of the game, as he scored 38 points en route to winning Finals MVP. LeBron James’s 32-point triple-double was not enough to force a Game 7.

The Milwaukee Bucks are your 2020 NBA Champions.

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