GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 25 31 21 26 103
Play by Play Milwaukee Bucks 18 35 29 31 113


Bryant has bone spur, Lakers fall to Bucks


Posted Mar 29 2013 12:11AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) Kobe Bryant used a crutch to leave the arena after the Los Angeles Lakers' latest loss.

Following Los Angeles' 113-103 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, the Lakers said Bryant had a bone spur in his left foot. He left the arena using one crutch, but appeared to be walking without any pain.

Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points, leaving him four points behind Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for fourth place on the NBA's career list. He played 36 1/2 minutes and didn't show any signs of difficulty during the game.

"Inflamed on me. I'll be all right," Bryant told Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers are eighth in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Utah for the final playoff spot.

Larry Sanders scored 13 of his career-high 21 points in the third quarter for the Bucks. He was 8 of 11 from the floor and had 13 rebounds.

Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings each had 20 points, Monta Ellis added 18, and Marquis Daniels had 16 to help the Bucks snap a four-game losing streak.

"Our attention to detail was a little bit better," coach Jim Boylan said. "Larry was great, really active. There was a lot of communicating going on. We've been struggling lately and when you struggle you can get into your own little world, and that's a bad place to be."

The Bucks hold the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and have a seven-game lead over ninth-place Philadelphia with 11 games to go. However, they weren't playing as a unit, the effort and energy level were sagging, until the game against the Lakers.

"You need to be playing a collective game, whether it be offensively or defensively," Boylan said. "Tonight, for us was maybe breaking out of that shell a little bit."

Sanders noticed the change, too.

"It's easy to kind of get in slumps and get that dark cloud over your head and stay there," he said. "But, we fought our way through tonight. It's good and showed a lot of character. You only lose when you stay down. You've got to get back up."

Dwight Howard had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, and Steve Nash scored 16 points.

Howard said the Lakers needed to play better defense against the Bucks.

"We need to work together against these guys," he said. "We just didn't do that tonight. Defense needs to be a team effort each and every night."

Ellis scored eight points for Milwaukee during a late 12-3 run, making it 102-92 on a running in the lane. The Lakers turned it over on the next possession, and Daniels raced down the court and dunked to make it 104-92 with 4:12 left. The Lakers never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Jennings was on the bench, again, during the fourth quarter. At 8:08 left, Boylan took Ellis out and put Ellis in. He scored the Bucks' next six points and turned the momentum. JJ Redick, Ilyasova, Daniels and Sanders finished the game with Ellis.

Jennings also was benched in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's loss to Philadelphia.

He was unhappy about the move and felt picked on.

"Brandon played great tonight. I took him out, had all intentions of putting him back in the game," Boylan said. "I had every intention of putting him back in the game, but then the game started to roll in our favor. I didn't want to mess with the chemistry we had out on the court. Not that I didn't trust Brandon to come back and play well."

The Lakers' last gasp came early in the fourth. Antwan Jamison scored twice and Howard dunked in a miss to help the Lakers regain the lead at 83-82. The teams exchanged the lead four times before Jennings' 3-pointer at 8:23 put Milwaukee ahead for good.

The Bucks started turning it around in the third, using a 19-8 run to close the quarter with 82-77 lead.

Daniels stole an inbound pass from Bryant under the Lakers' basket and passed to Sanders, who dunked to give Milwaukee a 70-69 lead with 4:23 left in the third. Sanders dunked his way to nine points during the surge. The rest of his points came on a hook shot and a free throw.

NOTES: Lakers forward Metta World Peace had surgery Thursday on a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was injured in Los Angeles' loss to Golden State on Monday night and is expected to miss at least six weeks. ... The crowd cheered when the public address announcer said that Marquette beat Miami to advance in the NCAA basketball tournament. ... Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Nash's back and hamstring "fired up on him. He toughed it out at first. I could tell he was hurting."

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


View More Photos

Points Bryant, 30
Rebounds Howard, 15
Assists Ellis (MIL), 9
Steals Ilyasova (MIL), 4
Blocks Howard, 3


Mike D'Antoni:

On the loss:
“I thought we were doing some good stuff - moving the ball, running up and down and defense was pretty good. They probably missed some shots also but we got the rebounds. Then for whatever reason, we quit moving the ball. We took contested shots and we missed, and then we stopped them. When they came down, we would stop them, but they get the rebound and they would put it back in – like a three point play or kick it out for the three. And then you know, [Brandon] Jennings and [Monta] Ellis, they’re going to hit some threes. You can try to hold them as much as you can, but you do it with the lead. You don’t do it from behind. That’s the reason it got away from us.”

On Steve Nash’s injury:
“Yesterday, last minute of the game his back and hamstring got fired up on him. He toughed it out at first. I could tell he was hurting. I just didn’t have the heart to put him back in. He wanted to go back in but it wasn’t fair to him. He was hurting.”

Dwight Howard:

On the game tonight:
“The defense was not what it needed to be tonight. It was way too easy for the guards to get into the paint, and make plays. When the guys are able to go wherever they want, it is easy for guys to get good looks, and hit open shots. We needed to be much better on the defensive end tonight.”

On finishing the season strong:
“We need to win every single game that we have left. We can’t let games like tonight slip away from us. If we want to do anything in the playoffs, we will need to come together as a team and win some games.”

On the defending the Bucks:
“We needed to work together against these guys, and we just didn’t do that tonight. Defense needs to be a team effort each and every night. If you can’t stop people, you will never be able to win games consistently. Give Milwaukee credit, they are a good team, but we should not be losing games like this. We need to play together and hold on to the ball.”

Steve Nash:

On the third quarter:
“We came out of the half a bit sluggish. Obviously we can’t turn over the ball and give easy baskets. When turnovers lead to transition points it can really turn a game around quickly. There was a point there right before half as well where we just didn’t take care of the ball. You can’t play sloppy and expect to win games.”

On closing out games:
“It has been strange. I feel like we have been ready to come out and play. I don’t know what to say because it seems like we put ourselves in a good position to win these games, but then we just lose our focus. It’s disappointing obviously. It seems like we start the game off well and then somewhere along the line things start to fall off. It is frustrating.”

Jim Boylan:

On defending Kobe Bryant:
“Marquis [Daniels] has been playing well for us. It’s tough when you sit on the bench for a little while, and [then] he gets back in when Luc [Mbah a Moute] gets hurt. It takes you a little while to get your game rhythm going a little bit, but Marquis has been playing really well, and obviously tonight you could see what he brings to the table for you from a defensive standpoint. He made some plays, made some shots. I thought the difference in the game for us was trying to keep Kobe [Bryant] as in check as you could keep a guy like him in check. Marquis made him work. He’s got a big body, strong, leans on him. It was a great effort by him.”

On defending Pau Gasol:
“He was hurting us a little bit down in the post with his size, so we tried to go back at him at the other end and make him work defensively and see if we could wear him down a little bit. We did a good job. We just got him involved in a lot of pick and rolls, things like that. I thought [Ersan Ilyasova] did a nice job battling him. He’s a big guy. He’s all of 7 feet tall and very highly skilled, so he’s a tough cover for a forward.”

Marquis Daniels:

On defending Kobe Bryant:
“I like the challenge. He’s probably one of the better players in the league, if not the best player. It’s a challenge. I just wanted to make it tough for him. Come out [and] just challenge all his shots. I know I’ve got help behind me with Larry [Sanders] and the other guys, so I just wanted to take my turn guarding him and just make it tough for him.”

On snapping the four-game losing streak:
“When you’re losing, it seems like you’ll never win again. Finally we got a win, we can breathe a little bit. Not breathe, but it’s just fresh air and we’ve got to continue to build off this.”

On improvements for the remainder of the season:
“Right now we’re working on ourselves. We’ve got to continue to work and get better on ourselves. Execution down the stretch, our defense needs to get better. We’re trying to make a playoff push, but we’ve got to work on Milwaukee basketball right now and continue to get better.”

Ersan Ilyasova:

On the defense tonight:
“They’re a really deep team. They have a lot of guys who can score 30 points each night. The team defense was really successful tonight, just helping each other. We tried to crowd Kobe Bryant tonight. He’s one of the best on the floor right now, and you try to eliminate him and force him to get tough shots. Luc and Marquis did a really good job on him. We all kind of helped each other down the stretch to win the game.”

On snapping the four-game losing streak:
“It feels great. It’s a huge win for us. We’re starting to come around now. Philadelphia is really behind us. Whatever games are left, you try to win. We did a really good job today.”




Posted Mar 28 2013 1:24AM

How the Los Angeles Lakers' latest injury affects their chase for the Western Conference's final playoff spot remains to be seen, but they started off the final stretch without their emotional leader on the right foot.

The Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, are all but assured a playoff spot, but they're mired in a four-game losing streak and one of their top scorers is unhappy.

Los Angeles continues a four-game road trip on Thursday night against Milwaukee - one of seven teams in postseason contention it will play over its final 10 contests.

All of those games will come without the services of Metta World Peace. He is slated for surgery Thursday after he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in Monday's loss to Golden State and is expected to miss at least six weeks. That timetable likely keeps him out until the second round of the playoffs, if the Lakers (37-35), who own a one-game edge over Utah for the eighth spot in the West, even qualify and advance that far.

World Peace averages 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, but he will be missed more on the defensive end, where the Lakers have already had trouble this season allowing 101.4 points per game.

Los Angeles, which just got Pau Gasol back in the mix after he was sidelined for 5 1/2 weeks with a torn plantar fascia, struggled mightily defensively without World Peace on Wednesday against Minnesota, but held on for a 120-117 win to snap a three-game skid.

"He's a ferocious player," said Kobe Bryant, who had 31 points while assuming World Peace's starting role at small forward. "He gives us that emotional boost. There's a lot of games where we lack energy and he provides that for us. We need to make up for that."

With Bryant not at his normal shooting guard spot, Jodie Meeks slid in there for his third start of the season but was just 2 of 7 for five points in 35 minutes.

Milwaukee (34-36) would seem to be nearly guaranteed a playoff spot with a 6 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia for eighth place in the East with 12 games to play. But the Bucks' hopes of catching seventh-place Boston, whom they trail by 2 1/2 games, to avoid a first-round series with Miami appear to be slipping away. Wednesday's 100-92 loss at Philadelphia was the team's fourth in a row and seventh in nine games, and more significantly, may have put a serious dent in the group's chemistry.

Brandon Jennings, the team's leader in assists with a personal-best 6.8 per game and second-leading scorer at 17.7 per game, was benched for the entire fourth quarter and finished scoreless for the first time in his career.

Coach Jim Boylan said he saw it as a way to possibly energize the team, but Jennings seemed less than energized in the locker room afterward.

"I think that everyone should be held accountable," said Jennings, who totaled 16 assists and 16 points on 5-of-30 shooting (16.7 percent) in the previous two games. "There's no maxed-out players in this locker room. So don't try to put me on a pedestal and just give everyone else the freedom to do whatever they want."

The Bucks have dropped 17 of 22 in the series but took a 100-89 victory in the last meeting in Milwaukee on Jan. 28, 2012. Los Angeles claimed a 104-88 home win on Jan. 15, with Bryant and Dwight Howard each scoring 31 while the Bucks were held to 35.8 percent shooting.

Howard is averaging 24.0 points on 60.8 percent shooting with 14.4 rebounds over his last 15 games versus Milwaukee.

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 .
  #24 Bryant SF #6 Daniels  
  #16 GasolPF #7 Ilyasova  
  #12 Howard C #8 Sanders  
  #20 Meeks SG #11 Ellis  
  #10 Nash PG #3 Jennings  


Lakers Kobe Bryant
(severe sprain, left ankle) is probable.
Pau Gasol
(strained plantar fascia, right foot) is probable.
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.
Antawn Jamison
(sprained right wrist) is probable.
Metta World Peace
(lateral meniscus tear, left knee) is out.

01/15 - MIL 88 @ LAL 104
03/28 - LAL @ MIL