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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles: Lakers Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 111-104 to claim the best record in the NBA on Thursday.

In a pulsating duel between the leaders of the Eastern and Western Conferences, it was Milwaukee who claimed early bragging rights in a potential match-up of NBA Finals contenders.

Antetokounmpo added 11 rebounds and seven assists to an impressive night’s work, while George Hill had 21 off the bench. Khris Middleton had 15 points with Wesley Matthews adding 13 and Brook Lopez 10.

The victory left Milwaukee five games clear at the top of the Eastern Conference with 25 wins against four defeats.

Antetokounmpo said: “It’s great that we’re the No. 1 team in the NBA right now, but we might end up playing them at the end of the season. No one’s going to remember this regular season game then.”