Odom, Bryant Lift Lakers Past Bucks
L.A. Lakers 111, Milwaukee 92
MILWAUKEE, Dec. 6 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom were too much for the Milwaukee Bucks to handle.
Bryant scored 33 points and Odom had 24 and nine rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers won the opener of a six-game road trip with a 111-92 victory over the Bucks.
"Kobe got us rolling and had a great half," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Lamar and Smush Parker had nice opportunities because of that."
Bryant's jumper with 4:54 left in the first quarter gave the Lakers the lead for good at 17-15. They built the lead to 34-25 after one period as Parker scored 16 points.
"We've blown like five 15-point leads," said Bryant, who made 14-of-24 shots and added six assists. "It's important for us, especially being a young team, to stay on top of them, keep executing and playing every play."
Parker had 20 points and a career-high seven steals and Chris Mihm added 13 and seven rebounds for Los Angeles, which has beaten Milwaukee nine straight times.
"It was a good offensive game, but we played a good defensive game in the second half," said Odom, who also had eight assists. "We kept on making plays and sustaining our energy and effort."
It was the fourth time this season the Lakers have had three players reach 20 points, a feat Los Angeles managed just four times last season and only once during the 2003-04 campaign - when it reached the NBA Finals.
"The balance helps a lot as we get better in the offense because then I don't have to take on as much of the burden," Bryant said. "When the offense breaks down, they come to me and I have to try to bail us out. When it's going smoothly, I can just stay in the pocket, stay in the rhythm."
The Lakers changed their starting lineup, inserting Sasha Vujacic in the backcourt and sliding Bryant to small forward. Vujacic scored six points.
"They had a small lineup out there, a quick lineup, so we had to match up with that," Jackson said. "We were able to turn the ball over and get easy baskets."
Michael Redd scored 21 points and T.J. Ford added 16 for the Bucks, who shot 3-of-13 from 3-point range and fell to 2-6 against Western Conference opponents.
"We did not have a great game," said Redd, who made 7-of-16 shots. "This is a bad loss for us, it really was. No disrespect to the Lakers, but this was a bad loss for us."