Bucks forward Middleton happy to be back after first match since April

Getty Images

Khris Middleton was happy to get minutes under his belt despite defeat after he played his first game since April for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Los Angeles Lakers.

A rampant pair of performances from Anthony Davis and LeBron James – who scored 44 points and passed Magic Johnson on the all-time NBA assists list respectively – saw the visitors downed 133-129.

But even with the loss, it marked a major landmark for the Bucks as they welcomed back forward Middleton to their line-up, having seen him sidelined since April's playoffs.

With 17 points and seven assists, the 31-year-old kept himself busy throughout, and expressed his delight at getting back on the floor with the rest of his team-mates.

"It felt really good to be back out there with the guys competing, playing," he said. "[I've got] a range of emotions.

"[I've] been through a lot these last couple months - happy, sad, anxious, nervous. To finally get out there and play and get a lot of those nerves past me, it felt pretty good."

The Bucks head to the Charlotte Hornets as part of a back-to-back on Saturday, but head coach Mike Budenholzer suggested Middleton will not be played again so quickly in succession.

"To have Khris back is huge for us," he added. "[It is] pretty impressive how seamlessly he got back into the game, [at] both ends of the court.

"We talk a lot about how Khris, he's just a basketball player. He's a smart player [who] just understands the game. [He is] not overly reliant on athleticism or things like that.

"For him to come back and be able to catch a good rhythm – he's got to keep working but a big step for us tonight to get Khris Middleton back."