Preview: Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Lakers look to extend win streak Friday with home tilt against Milwaukee Bucks

The Lakers (15-41) will try to keep their winning streak alive on Friday night at Staples Center, hosting the Milwaukee Bucks (32-25).

After wins over the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, the Lakers draw an Eastern Conference playoff team in the Bucks, fresh off their trade that brought in point guard Michael Carter-Williams from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brandon Knight, who the Lakers have historically struggled to guard, was sent to the Phoenix Suns at the deadline. Carter-Williams is expected to play, although he's still working his way back from a foot injury.

O.J. Mayo (hamstring) will sit while the Bucks are without Jabari Parker (knee) and Damien Inglis (ankle) for the rest of the year.

Nick Young (knee) is questionable, while Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back) are all done for the season.

Key matchup

The Bucks have one of the NBA's most intriguing young players in guard/forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In his second year in the league, Antetokounmpo is averaging 12.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game while shooting 49.1% from the field.

He's extremely athletic and versatile, capable of playing almost any position. Antetokounmpo is also a willing defender.

What he doesn't do particularly well is shoot from long range, hitting just 16.1% from behind the three-point line.

Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson is coming off the best game of his career, scoring 22 points on 10 of 16 shooting in the win over the Jazz.

The Lakers have had a difficult season, to say the least, but one bright spot has been the development of Clarkson.

X-factor

The Bucks need an offensive punch from players like Khris Middleton, Jerryd Bayless and Jared Dudley. Center John Henson protects the basket well as a shot-blocker.

Milwaukee is still working in Carter-Williams, but he's a do-a-bit-of-everything type of guard who can score, rebound and play-make.

Equally, the Lakers need points from guards Wayne Ellington and Jeremy Lin, along with bigs Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill.

The team could also use a big game from reserve forward Ed Davis, especially on the glass.

Outlook

The Bucks are one of the better defensive teams in the year but they may struggle for offense on Friday.

While the Lakers have played well in recent games, expect the winning streak to be cut short at two.

Email Eric Pincus at Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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