THE FACTS: Larry Sanders had a career-high 21 points to go with 13 rebounds, and Marquis Daniels added 16 points and made Kobe Bryant work for all of his 30 points, as the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 113-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Daniels led a defensive effort that forced Bryant into 6-of-17 shooting, although the Lakers star did go to the free throw line 20 times, making 18.
Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova each added 20 points, and Monta Ellis clicked for 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as Milwaukee (35-36) cut its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to four.
Dwight Howard had 15 points and 15 rebounds, but the Lakers (37-36) saw their lead fall to a half-game over Utah for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
QUOTABLE: "It helps out a lot, especially when you have Larry (Sanders) behind you in case you get beat. Larry's there to help protect the rim, and 'Ers' (Ilyasova) is stepping up taking charges. It was a great defensive effort on Kobe. It wasn't just me or Luc (Mbah a Moute). Everybody stepped up and did a good job."
-- Daniels, whose defense was stout enough that the Bucks often didn't have to send a second defender to stop Bryant.
THE STAT: Each of the five Milwaukee starters scored between 16 and 21 points in a thoroughly balanced attack.
TURNING POINT: Steve Blake's 3-pointer gave the Lakers an 88-87 lead before Jennings answered with a 3-pointer that gave the Bucks the lead for good. After Blake's 3-pointer, the Lakers missed 10 of their next 11 shots as Jennings' 3-pointer started a 17-4 run.
QUOTABLE II: "Everyone was looking each other in the eye trying to get that communication to get that fight back in you and not stay down. You only lose when you stay down. You've got to get back up."
-- Sanders on the Bucks coming back as a group after an ugly loss in Philadelphia Wednesday night.
HOT: Sanders went 8 for 11, but his longest made field goal came from 11 feet. He had six dunks on the night.
NOT: Howard entered the night at 49 percent from the free throw line and made just 3 of 10.
GOOD MOVE: Bucks coach Jim Boylan had every intention of bringing back Jennings for the final four minutes, but the Bucks stretched their lead from 90-89 to 104-92 over the next four minutes, so Boylan stayed with the lineup he had.
NOTABLE: Bryant did not meet with reporters after the game and the Lakers said he has a bone spur in his left heel and he'll be examined Friday when the team gets to Sacramento. Bryant was seen leaving the arena using a crutch to walk. ... Steve Nash only played seven minutes in the second half because of back and hamstring problems. ... With his 30 points, Bryant is now four points short of Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Saturday @ Sacramento, Tuesday vs. Dallas, Friday vs. Memphis. For the Bucks, Saturday vs. Oklahoma City, Monday vs. Charlotte, Wednesday vs. Minnesota.