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GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Milwaukee Bucks 27 23 23 15 88
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 29 28 22 25 104
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Kobe, Dwight get 31 each in Lakers' win over Bucks

By GREG BEACHAM


Posted Jan 16 2013 12:58AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Dwight Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant also scored 31 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-88 Tuesday night for their second straight win after a six-game skid.

Metta World Peace added 12 points as the Lakers prepared for Thursday's visit from the NBA champion Miami Heat with an impressive effort against the Bucks, who lost for the second time in five games under interim coach Jim Boylan.

Bryant and Howard both had 30-point games for the second time in their brief tenure together, and the Bucks couldn't cope with Bryant's outside game or Howard's inside dominance.

Monta Ellis scored 17 points for Milwaukee, while Brandon Jennings was held to 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting largely by Bryant's defense.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited



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Points Bryant/Howard, 31
Rebounds Howard, 16
Assists Nash, 11
Steals Nash, 2
Blocks Howard, 4
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POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike D'Antoni:

On Dwight Howard:
“I think he keeps getting stronger. He keeps getting better. Obviously he’s what we were missing, when he was out. You know he’s a heck of a presence inside. He alters a lot of shots. I don’t know how many blocks he had, but besides that he just alters so many when he’s in there.”

On Kobe Bryant’s defensive play:
“To me it’s incredible. He sets the tone defensively. When you have a guy hawking the ball like that and disrupting their offense and the energy he puts out on the defensive end and then to go down and do what he does offensively. But it’s imperative that he does that. He helps our defense so much. We’ll watch his minutes and watch him and make sure he’s okay, but I think it also helps him offensively I think he’s so tuned in to the game that even offensively he’s really efficient and you know six assists tonight and 12 of 19 shooting, I don’t know if you can play much better than he’s doing.”

On what he liked about tonight’s game:
“I thought we made some good rotations. We hustled. I like Earl [Clark]. Earl didn’t have a great game offensively but he just makes plays. He’s long and when he contests a shot the shots not easy. We can put him on guards we can save Steve [Nash] a little bit although Steve has to go down and battle the big boys sometimes. He just gives you a lot of stuff so that’s good and the rest of the guys just their energy and willingness to understand a mistake and talk about it and try to work things out.”

On Thursday’s game against Miami:
“It’s going to be a hard game, without a doubt. They’re one and three on the road trip and they play tomorrow at Golden State. They’re going to come in here loaded. We just have to play as hard as we can, it’ll be a great game, and get a win. But at home we have to defend our home court if we’re thinking about getting in the playoffs.”




Kobe Bryant:

On defending Brandon Jennings:
“I try to disrupt him as much as possible. There’s a great deal of preparation involved in trying to figure out what he likes to do and where he likes to do it. Then it’s just a matter of trying to take it away from him as much as possible.”

On getting Dwight Howard involved:
“If I see a crack in the lane, I’m going to try and get him the ball and we’re starting to get a better connection. In the start of the season, some of those passes would either go out of bounds or he wasn’t ready for them. Now we’re starting to get a better connection where I can hit him and he’s finishing.

On team defense tonight:
“It starts on the defensive end. We did a much better job tonight being physical and making our presence felt and that’s where we have to hang our hats.”

On the next home game versus the Miami Heat:
“It’s going to require a lot of preparation. That’s the thing about the NBA, the better the team, the more homework you have to do and you have to be willing to do that homework and we certainly are.”




Earl Clark:

On ball movement and great defense tonight:
“We just prepared before the game today, walked through, talked as a team. We really communicated today as far as the switches and helps. Once we help each other and we have a presence like Dwight in the middle, we play great defense.”

On Kobe’s defense:
“He is a great defensive player. He’s guarding the point guard, getting them off their offense. He is very smart. He knows the game like the back of his hand. He’s just making it tough out there for the other guys and it’s helping us.”

On next opponent, Miami:
“It should be a great game. We have nothing to lose it’s a home game. We just have to come with our hard hats on and play every possession like it’s our last.”




Steve Nash:

On tthe defense:
“The defense was good. Again, the baseline for us has got to be energy and passion and playing together. When you do that, you give yourself a chance regardless of how well the game plan works or how you execute. So, we’ve been coming with that and tonight we executed and played with energy.”

On Dwight Howard:
“Dwight (Howard) is going to be the anchor of our defense and he’s incredibly talented. The more and more comfortable he gets, the more and more active he gets. This should be average for him. This is nothing for him, considering how good he can be. It’s a pleasure to play with someone who has that ability and the sky’s the limit and he can keep improving.”




Dwight Howard:

On everything coming together:
“We’re communicating more. We’re just playing a little bit harder. On the defensive end everybody is in the right spot.”

“We just have been talking and trying to find our spots and it’s working. We’re going to continue to do it and continue to stay focused. Stay humble and play together.”

On Kobe’s defense:
“He has been doing a great job on defense. He’s stepping up and playing the team’s best guards and forcing them to take tough shots, which is something that we need from him especially on the defensive end. Those guys do a good job in the front and trust me behind them but it starts up top.”

On getting touches:
“I’m just happy that we won. I’m happy that we’re playing together a little bit better. The biggest thing that we’re doing, which is a lot better now is that we’re all communicating. We’re getting on each other when we make a mistake especially defensively. We’re getting on each other and we’re holding each other accountable.”




Antawn Jamison:

On the game:
“We have to find a way to be consistent on both ends of the floor. And most importantly, start the night. We have to play with a sense of urgency on both ends of the floor defensively and offensively. More of 48 points instead of 24 or 36 and it started with the starters, and most importantly, the bench came in and instead of lack of play, we improved play. We played with a lot more energy. Those are the things we have to do. We have to realize that it is the guys in this locker room that can turn things around.”

On the return of Dwight Howard:
“Not too many guys can affect the game the way he can. As long as he is back there, he can cause guys to take alternate shots, block shots, and protect the paint. Offensively, he takes up so much space that it opens up a lot of shots for his teammates and he is a big piece of this success. For us, most importantly, to keep him healthy, but when he is healthy, to have an outcome of the game like we did tonight.”




Jim Boylan:

On the game:
“They came out and really pressured us. Kobe changed the complexion of the game with his pressure in the back court. They knocked us off balance early and we fought back. Kind of got our legs under us and seemed to be moving pretty well. And then in the third quarter they went a little smaller line up and that seemed to give us a little boost and I thought that we were moving in the right direction again and then suddenly they got it going and pulled away from us. Two great players played great. Steve was Steve, you know doing his thing. It was a tough night for us. We missed a lot of shots, but mainly because of their pressure. They played a really good game, a really good defensive game.”

“We had to change a little bit. We like to have the ball in Brandon’s hands so that he can initiate the offence and get things going for us. Kobe is a great individual defender and he showed it tonight. When I said earlier that it kind of knocked us off a little bit that’s what I am talking about. Our rhythm was taken away from us and mainly by the defense Kobe played.”

“They were on their game tonight. Any time a team can have that many assists in a half, you are playing really good basketball. So they are playing really well, so it was difficult.”

“Was I surprised that we were able to stay with them? No. My team has been very resilient all year. No matter what has happened to us, any time a team jumps out on us we are able to come back and work our way back into the game. So I was not surprised by that. I was a little surprised that they pulled away from us in the end. I thought we had a nice rhythm going in the third quarter, but it slipped away from us a little bit. And they played really well. They played a great game. They moved the ball, unselfish. They made shots, a lot of guys made shots that had you prepared for a team you expect certain things and some of those things didn’t happen tonight. They went the other way against us. But, all the credit to the Lakers, they played great and we just didn’t have our A game today. But, our guys fought hard and it is just one of those games that slipped away from us.




Brandon Jennings:

On Kobe Bryant’s defense on him tonight:
“It was a little bit different for me; the fact that he’s a long guard. For the whole game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guard put that much pressure on a point guard full court. It was a lot different. It’s probably the best defense anybody’s played on me since I’ve been in the league. He was constantly putting pressure on me, touching me, and hitting me at all times in the game. It was pretty difficult.”

On what went wrong tonight:
“We couldn’t get any defensive stops, and they were scoring a lot. Dwight Howard had a big night tonight, and Kobe [Bryant] barely missed, so it was tough.”

On what happened in the fourth quarter:
“We missed shots, and they made shots. They kind of just locked it in. They were putting a lot of pressure on our guards all night. They were trying to speed the game up a little bit, we really didn’t have our rhythm, and we really didn’t play the way we usually play.”




Larry Sanders:

On what happened in the fourth quarter:
“Kobe [Bryant] got real hot. I don’t think he missed many shots in the fourth quarter. He was able to create some separation, and with his pressure down on the defensive end they were able to capitalize on our mistakes.”

On Dwight Howard’s play tonight:
“He’s getting back to his old ways, and he’s moving a little bit better. I’m happy for him. He’s a load down there, and once he plants his feet he’s pretty hard to move. There are a couple guys in the league like that and he’s definitely in the top two.”




Samuel Dalembert:

On what went wrong tonight:
“Well, shooting the way we were shooting. Rebounds we did well, but today we didn’t make enough good passes and move the ball. We usually have more assists than that. Our shots weren’t going in even though we had some open shots we usually make. It was a rough game, very physical from the beginning, and the game wasn’t going our way. We didn’t make adjustments quick enough.”

On Dwight Howard’s play tonight:
“When you have a guy like Steve Nash running the point, controlling the ball, putting pressure on the defense, and stretching the defense it’s tough. I think the second rotation wasn’t there, and our timing wasn’t there defensively. For most of the game we weren’t there to stop the ball. We didn’t make the right adjustments.”

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BUCKS-LAKERS PREVIEW

By ALAN FERGUSON

Posted Jan 14 2013 9:51PM

Even before Dwight Howard returned from injury, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni was looking for a fresh start for his team.

The Lakers may have gotten that with Howard's help, but a lackluster performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night could lead to some of the same feelings that were generated during a lengthy skid.

After a sixth straight loss Friday against Oklahoma City, D'Antoni declared that the Lakers' season was starting again Sunday against visiting Cleveland.

"I don't know if it's so literal but at the same time, we realized we don't have time to fall further behind," point guard Steve Nash said. "We can't give away games."

Getting Howard back from a three-game absence due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder only added to that new beginning. The star center had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return and the Lakers (16-21) ended their skid with a 113-93 rout of the visiting Cavaliers.

"It's great to have Dwight back. He's obviously huge for our team. We need him down there anchoring the defense and drawing a crowd on offense," Nash said.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 23 points - his 21st straight game with 20 or more - during his team's season-best 58.0-percent shooting performance.

"We obviously ran into a tough patch last week. We were struggling, were decimated by injuries and we just so happened to play some of the top teams in the league," he said. "Now here's an opportunity to really pick it up and get going."

The Lakers now take on a pair of teams with winning records to wrap up their four-game homestand - Milwaukee (19-17) and Miami on Thursday - and they likely won't have Pau Gasol to help. Gasol is expected to miss a fifth consecutive game due to a concussion.

The Bucks enter this game 3-1 under interim coach Jim Boylan after losing the final four games in Scott Skiles' tenure. They pulled away late for a 107-96 win in Toronto on Sunday.

Brandon Jennings recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 assists en route to earning Eastern Conference player of the week honors. Rookie John Henson also scored 19, one shy of tying his career high, and Milwaukee matched a season high with 51.9 percent shooting in the opener of its four-game road trip.

Larry Sanders also provided a pair of key blocks down the stretch, and finished with 11 points and a team-best eight rebounds.

"From where he was just a few months ago to where is he now, I've never seen anybody make that sort of progress," Boylan said. "Larry can do things that very few guys can do with his defensive ability. We're fortunate to have him. In the fourth quarter I thought he was just phenomenal."

The Bucks have won back-to-back games over the Lakers after losing six straight matchups, prevailing 100-89 in the most recent meeting Jan. 28 in Milwaukee. Drew Gooden led six Milwaukee players in double figures with 23 points while Bryant, with 27, was the only Los Angeles player to score more than 15.

In their last trip to Staples Center on Jan. 21, 2010, the Bucks won for only the third time in 19 visits to the Lakers.

This time, though, Milwaukee will likely have to face Howard, who averaged 27.3 points and 16.7 rebounds in his last three matchups last season while with Orlando.


Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #12 Mbah a Moute  
  #6 ClarkPF #7 Ilyasova  
  #12 Howard C #8 Sanders  
  #24 Bryant SG #11 Ellis  
  #10 Nash PG #3 Jennings  


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Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is out.
Pau Gasol
(concussion) is out.
Jordan Hill
(right hip /herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.
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01/15 - MIL @ LAL
03/28 - LAL @ MIL
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