GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Milwaukee Bucks 25 25 22 26 98
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 22 24 20 13 79


Milwaukee ends Lakers' 5-game win streak, 98-79

By GREG BEACHAM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Earl Boykins scored a season-high 22 points, John Salmons added 20 and the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks stunned the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, snapping the two-time defending champions' five-game winning streak with a 98-79 victory.

Kobe Bryant scored 21 points and Pau Gasol added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who belly-flopped in their final tuneup before a Christmas visit from the Miami Heat.

Ersan Ilyasova had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had lost three straight and were down to nine healthy players against the Lakers, who had beaten them six straight times.

Yet with sturdy defense that held the Lakers to their franchise-low in points against the Bucks, Milwaukee jumped ahead early and finished the game on a 21-7 run, holding the Lakers scoreless for nearly four minutes down the stretch.

Perhaps thinking ahead to their holiday visit from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Lakers were largely lifeless in their return from an impressive seven-game road trip, losing at Staples Center for just the third time in 13 games.

Andrew Bogut scored 15 points for the Bucks, who largely controlled the game despite missing injured regulars Brandon Jennings, Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden on the second stop of a three-game road trip.

Perhaps the most improbable contributions were from the 5-foot-5 Boykins, who hit four 3-pointers - including a rub-it-in basket with 2 1/2 minutes left - as an unlikely substitute for Jennings, the Bucks' leading scorer.

The Lakers openly worried about overlooking the Bucks in their return from the road, speaking specifically about the possibility during the pregame shootaround. Milwaukee scored 107 points in an 11-point home loss to the Lakers on Nov. 16, causing matchup problems for the champions.

Yet from the opening tip at Staples Center, the Bucks appeared more motivated and better prepared. Milwaukee made seven of its first eight shots and rarely trailed during the first three quarters, hitting open jumpers and getting a proficient inside performance by Bogut, who won most of his clashes with Gasol in the low post.

When Salmons rattled home a 17-foot jumper that barely beat the third-quarter buzzer to put the celebrating Bucks ahead 72-66, the Lakers' crowd was nearly silent.

After consecutive baskets by Boykins and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute put the Bucks ahead 82-72 with six minutes left, Milwaukee's game was encapsulated on the next possession: Salmons was faked to the floor by Bryant, yet still managed to strip the ball from Bryant in a seated position when the Lakers superstar drove past him.

Andrew Bynum had six points and three rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench in his first home appearance since Game 7 of last season's NBA finals. The center was slow to recover from offseason surgery on his troublesome right knee, only returning during the Lakers' road trip.

NOTES: Lakers coach Phil Jackson repeated his opposition to the NBA's proliferating Christmas schedule, saying he thinks the league should take the day off. "It's like Christian holidays don't mean to them anything any more," the 11-time NBA champion coach said. ... Gooden is away from the Bucks to get treatment on his injured right foot, while Maggette missed his second straight game with an apparent concussion. Maggette hopes to return for Thursday's visit to Sacramento, but Jennings - who scored 31 points against Los Angeles last month - will be out for at least a month after surgery on his broken left foot. ... Fans near courtside included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Cryer and Dr. Dre.


Copyright 2010 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




53.8 Milwaukee's first half shooting percentage, as L.A.'s defense waned a bit in early energy coming off the six-game road trip. The Bucks would cool off in the third quarter, hitting just 40 percent, but nail 57.1 percent in the fourth (including 3-of-3 from three-point range) to run away with a victory.

22 More points in the paint for the Lakers than the Bucks. L.A. got 15 points from Pau Gasol, 12 from Lamar Odom and six from Andrew Bynum.

18 Second half points for the league's shortest player, Earl Boykins, who always seems to stand tall when playing the Lakers. He finished the game with a team-high 22 off the pine, including four triples, all in the second half.

17 Assists for the Lakers, well below their average of 23 per game, in a game in which ball movement was certainly not a strong suit.

16 Shot attempts by Kobe Bryant in 32 minutes en route to 21 points, before No. 24 got tossed out for a double technical (arguing with officials) late in the fourth quarter.

13 The Bucks' biggest lead, attained at the 4:26 mark of the fourth quarter when Andrew Bogut laid home a Boykins feed after an offensive rebound on the second of John Salmons's missed free throw.

2 Three-pointers made by the Lakers despite 13 attempts. The Bucks, in contrast, made eight, while Boykins made two more himself.




View More Photos


Points Bryant 21, 9-16 FG
Rebounds Gasol 11, 7 OFF 4 DEF
Assists Odom 6
Steals Fisher 3
Blocks Bynum 2


POSTGAME QUOTES

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on why the game got away from his team in the second half:
"Stopped moving the ball, started playing individual basketball and the stand-around stuff started happening. Their defense was good, that made us do that too."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Milwaukee Bucks guard Earl Boykins:
"I thought offensively, obviously, Boykins made a couple of shot-clock beaters for shots. He had a great game and gave them the spark they needed."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if the road trip affected his team's play tonight:
"I don't think it's endemic in our team. I think it's pretty natural for teams to have that happen to them. I think everybody knows it, and you have to prepare against it. But it's still not an excuse to have a team outwork you as much as Milwaukee did tonight."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on his team moving forward:
"You want to right yourself, get the game right again, look what you're doing. But I think one of the things about us is we have to analyze our individual games and how it applies to what we're doing as a group."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on how this game will help his team:
"It's part of these things that are self-evident that can be corrections that teams go through. Then you can use some of the things that happened in the game as a starting to get better, or whatever you want to do to help a team along. But this game was a wake-up game of sorts for our team."




Lakers' Lamar Odom on the factors that played into the Lakers loss:
"It's a little bit of everything. We deserve to lose, they beat us. It just happened. We obviously have to move on but I feel like that is a game we should win."





Lakers' Ron Artest on the play of the Milwaukee Bucks:
"They did it together. They played great, they beat us, you know, no excuses. It's unfortunate that we lost but we gotta a day off tomorrow to regroup and get ready for Miami."




Lakers' Derek Fisher on if the Lakers were looking past the Bucks:
"I think it's a possibility but even in looking past someone it requires an action on your part. I don't think it was so much about the opponent I just think we didn't play the type of game we needed to play."

Lakers' Derek Fisher on the Lakers execution tonight:
"There were times where we did a decent job defensively and they made some shots that were challenged…but by in large it was more about our lack of execution, and timing, rhythm, and sharpness to our game."




Lakers' Pau Gasol on the Bucks effort tonight:
"I was hoping that it wouldn't happen like this tonight. I got to give them credit because they came from a butt-kicking last night in Portland. They bounced back really well tonight and played with a lot of energy and great confidence so they played better than I expected."




Lakers' Matt Barnes on being so close but not being able to come back:

"We didn't move the ball. We had an early success moving the ball, getting close touches, getting other guys the ball and for some reason we stopped."

Lakers' Matt Barnes on the game tonight:
"…we just didn't play well. We knew not to overlook this team. Anytime your main players are out that's when most of the time it's even more dangerous because you know that anything can come from anywhere…"

Lakers' Matt Barnes on what it takes to improve:
"Just play hard. As talented as we are we just have to play hard; both ways, moving the ball, rebounding, and playing defense."




Bucks Coach Scott Skiles on shooting over 50% against the Lakers:

"Yeah, I mean it hasn't happened to us that much this year, so normally when a team does shoot the ball well there's a couple guys deep within the game that shoot it very well, and obviously Earl picked us up tonight. He really shot it well."

Bucks Coach Scott Skiles on their defense tonight:

"Both ends were good for us tonight, so I don't want to pick one more than the other. But in the second half we were as good as we've been all year on the defensive end. To hold that team to 33 points, and 13 [points] in the fourth, that's a difficult task. I thought that we did a very respectable job on Kobe, and other than a few offensive rebounds we were really sharp on that end."

Bucks Coach Scott Skiles on John Salmons shooting:

"Yeah, I thought all the guys tonight were, the first half as well we were aggressive, at least trying to get in there, trying to hit the seams. We put the pressure on the defense. John had a couple right at the rim that rimed out for him at the end of the night, but when we need him to go in there and make those plays he certainly can."

Bucks Coach Scott Skiles on finishing the game strong:
"Each time we appeared to be teetering a little bit we were able to make a series of big plays to extend the lead. So, you know, if you're going to come into this type of place and beat this type of team you're going to need those type of plays."

Bucks Coach Scott Skiles on Earl Boykins performance tonight:
"No, we know he has it. This is what he's done most of his career. He's been able to come into games, not every game, not every time, nobody does that, but he can change a game. He learned a long time ago to use his size to his advantage. He does a good job of that, and on top of that he's a very good shooter. Obviously we wouldn't have won the game without Earl tonight."




Bucks center Andrew Bogut on the play of Earl Boykins:
"It was huge for us. Once they started doubling me in the paint, Earl came in and was shooting with confidence. Once he started knocking down shots, the [hoop] was huge for him. He was key for us."

Bucks center Andrew Bogut on the Bucks defensive effort against Kobe Bryant:
"We were sending bodies to help and obviously, he got frustrated towards the end and got thrown out. It worked to our advantage."

Bucks center Andrew Bogut on his physical matchup with Pau Gasol tonight:
"It was just physical, nothing really. He's holding, I'm holding; it's part of basketball. I come out with scratches, he comes out with scratches. That's just the way it goes. It's a physical game down there. It's nothing personal, we're both just trying to win the game."




Bucks guard John Salmons on the Bucks team effort tonight:
"Everybody came in, stepped up, played hard and competed. Everybody contributed well for us. I think as a team, if we get that effort, we can be tough. We still haven't been healthy all year. We just have to go in every night, compete, play hard and see what happens."

Bucks guard John Salmons on his and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's defense on Kobe Bryant:
"He's a great player. Only thing you can do is try to make it as tough as possible for him. You just try to contest everything…and compete against him. I think if you can do that, you give yourself a chance. But he's still a great player and he's going to hit tough shots. You just can't get frustrated when he hits those."




Bucks guard Earl Boykins on the Bucks win tonight:
"I was just worried about the run they were going to make. Usually they always make a run in the fourth quarter and you just try to hold them off as long as possible. We were able to get defensive stops and that was big."

Bucks guard Earl Boykins on how tonight's win helps the Bucks' confidence:
"It's huge, especially the way we played last night. Last night we went out there and we didn't play with any effort at all. We didn't play like we even belonged on the court with the Trailblazers and tonight, to come out here and just play with effort and believe we were capable of beating them was huge."






LAKERS VS. BUCKS GAME PREVIEW

By BRETT HUSTON, STATS Senior Writer

Home after a seven-game road trip and with a Christmas Day showdown looming, it'd be easy for the Los Angeles Lakers to overlook the Milwaukee Bucks.

They might be able to get by even if they do.

The Lakers seek a sixth straight victory overall and a seventh in a row Tuesday over the Bucks, who looked lost in their first game without Brandon Jennings.

Los Angeles (21-7) needed a buzzer-beater to get past the Clippers on Dec. 8 to open its string of road games, then lost 88-84 in Chicago two nights later to fall to 3-5 in its last eight.

Any concerns of a rare early-season funk have since faded. Andrew Bynum returned last Tuesday and the Lakers finished the Eastern Conference portion of their trip with five wins by an average of 11.6 points, culminating in a 120-110 victory at Toronto on Sunday.

The Lakers' reserves scored 57 points against the Raptors, led by 16 from Bynum.

"They've been solid this entire trip," Kobe Bryant said. "They came in and gave us a big boost."

Los Angeles hosts Miami on Saturday in a highly anticipated nationally televised tilt, but first must avoid looking past Milwaukee (10-16), which got some tough news Monday.

Jennings started to feel pain in his left foot Wednesday in a tight loss at San Antonio, but played again anyway Saturday in a 95-86 defeat against Utah. An exam later revealed a fracture, which will sideline the Bucks' leading scorer for four to six weeks.

In addition, neither Carlos Delfino nor Corey Maggette is on the team's current three-game trip after both have had concussion symptoms.

"No one's going to feel sorry for us," general manager John Hammond said. "We still have a job to do, that's win every game that we take floor."

Milwaukee didn't get off to a good start without Jennings on Monday in Portland. The Bucks fell behind by 24 at halftime and shot 38.0 percent overall in a 106-80 loss.

"Obviously, we missed Brandon tonight," center Andrew Bogut said. "His scoring and his penetration helps keep the floor spread. Teams are starting to really pound us now and we have to adjust."

The Lakers certainly won't be upset with Jennings' absence. Jennings matched Bryant with 31 points in Milwaukee on Nov. 16, but Shannon Brown's 21 points off the bench proved to be the difference in Los Angeles' 118-107 victory - its sixth straight in the series.

Brown was also a difference-maker the last time the teams met at Staples Center. He had 19 points Jan. 10 as the Lakers won 95-77 despite missing an injured Pau Gasol.

Gasol looks healthy heading into this matchup after averaging 19.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in his last six games. His 60.1 career field-goal percentage versus Milwaukee is his best against any opponent.

Gasol, Bynum and Lamar Odom should certainly give Los Angeles an edge inside. The Lakers are averaging 46.6 points in the paint in December and surrendering 37.6.

They're not letting teams beat them from the perimeter, either. Los Angeles has held its opposition to 31.7-percent shooting from 3-point range this month - second-best in the NBA.

Milwaukee has lost eight of the 11 games in which it's been held under 31.7 percent from beyond the arc.


Copyright 2010 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



Lakers Kobe Bryant (sprained pinkie finger, right hand) will play.
Andrew Bynum
(right knee surgery) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is out.

Mavs Carlos Delfino (concussion-like symptoms) is out.
Brandon Jennings (sore left ankle) is out.
Corey Maggette (concussion-like symptoms) is out.
Michael Redd (left ACL/MCL) is out.


11/16 - LAL @ MIL W 118-107
12/21 - MIL @ LAL


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GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead their season series with Milwaukee 1-0 after sweeping last season's series with the Bucks 2-0 for the second consecutive season. This will be the 121st meeting between the two teams, with the Lakers holding a 77-43 all-time series advantage. In their last 10 games against Milwaukee, the Lakers are 7-3 against the Bucks and have won 25 of their last 30 overall contests including the last six straight. The Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the Bucks at STAPLES Center (16-2 in their last 18 home games vs. Milwaukee). In Milwaukee, the Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 16-5 against the Bucks. On 1/1/10, the Lakers held Milwaukee to a series-low 77 points, surpassing the old mark of 82 established 2/25/73. In 26 games including 23 starts against Milwaukee, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.2 points against the Bucks. Lakers special assistant coach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played six seasons with Milwaukee before being traded to the Lakers in 1975 and currently holds the Bucks series scoring record (50 points, 3/17/73 vs. Milwaukee) against the Lakers. Additionally, on November 21, Abdul- Jabbar took part in a halftime ceremony during the Lakers/Bucks game in which his retired number 33 banner was rededicated in celebration of Milwaukee's 40th anniversary season. Abdul-Jabbar owns Bucks franchise records for points (14,211), rebounds (7.161) and scoring average (30.4) among others. Prior to joining the Chicago Bulls and then the Lakers, assistant coach Frank Hamblen spent nine seasons with the Bucks as both Del Harris and Mike Dunleavy's top assistant while serving as the interim head coach for Milwaukee during the 1991-92 season. Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute played locally at UCLA while Milwaukee forward Corey Maggette played alongside Lamar Odom with the LA Clippers from 2000-03.

KOBE BRYANT LEADS ALL PLAYERS AFTER 1st ROUND OF ALL-STAR BALLOTING
On December 16th, the NBA announced its FIRST returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting with Kobe Bryant (722,682) LEADING all players in All-Star voting, ahead of Orlando's Dwight Howard (611,561) and Miami's LeBron James (607,994). Pau Gasol (390,808), who made his third All-Star team last season as a reserve, ranks 2nd among forwards in the West behind Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (470,881). Andrew Bynum (198,044) ranks 2nd among West centers behind Houston's Yao Ming (430,984), while New Orleans' Chris Paul (386,649) ranks 2nd among West guards behind Bryant. In the East, James and Boston's Kevin Garnett (456,111) lead the forward voting, Miami's Dwyane Wade (570,489) and Boston's Rajon Rondo (497,141) are the top two vote-getters at guard and Howard leads all East centers in balloting.

In each of the last three seasons, Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, Bryant received 2,456,224 votes, finishing second overall to Cleveland's LeBron James (2,549,693). In 2008-09, he accumulated 2,805,397 votes, finishing third in overall balloting behind Dwight Howard (3,150,181) and James (2,940,823). In 2007-08, Bryant garnered 2,004,940 votes to finish fourth in overall voting behind Kevin Garnett (2,399,148), James (2,108,831) and Howard (2,066,991). In 2006-07, when he earned his second All-Star MVP, Bryant finished third overall in balloting behind James and Yao Ming. A three-time All-Star MVP (2002 Philadelphia, 2007 Las Vegas, 2009 Phoenix), Bryant is a 12-time All-Star and had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing last year's contest due to a sprained left ankle. Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, led all players in NBA All-Star balloting in 2003. Gasol has made three All-Star appearances (2006, 2009, 2010) and in 2009, became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team.

BRYANT NOW 3RD ON NBA FRANCHISE CAREER POINTS LIST
Last season, with his 29th point on February 1, 2010 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. In the history of the NBA, only two players have scored more points with a single franchise than Bryant (26,514): Karl Malone (1st/36,374) and Michael Jordan (2nd/29,277). This season, Bryant has moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,511) for 3rd on this list (12/19 at Toronto) and John Havlicek (26,395) for 4th (12/10 at Chicago).

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their 109-94 victory in Indiana on December 15th, the Lakers recorded their FIFTH wire-to-wire win of the season. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories came against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS, 11/21 vs. GS), Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM) and Wizards (12/7 vs. WAS). Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire-to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

NO REST, NO PROBLEM
In their second game of a back-to-back set with the Wizards and Pacers, Kobe Bryant scored 31 points in a 109-94 victory at Indiana. Bryant's average of 29.0 ppg in the second game of back-to-back sets is the highest in the NBA this season. The Lakers have played five sets of back-to-back sets on the year, with Bryant scoring 30 points 11/3 @ Sacramento, 33 points 11/17 @ Detroit, 27 points 12/1 @ Houston, 24 points 12/8 @ LA Clippers and 31 points 12/15 @ Indiana (all 2nd of back-to-back games).*

BRYANT PASSES JOHN HAVLICEK FOR 11th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), Kobe Bryant passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.9 ppg), Bryant (26,514) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant are Dominique Wilkins (10th/26,668), Oscar Robertson (9th/26,710), Hakeem Olajuwon (8th/26,946), Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409).

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years and last season alone, passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195), Gary Payton (21,813) and Larry Bird (21,791).

BACK-TO-BACK

This season, the Lakers are 4-1 in the first game and 4-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-backs came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

GAME WINNERS
Known for his clutch shooting, Derek Fisher delivered once again for the Lakers in their 87-86 victory over the Clippers on December 8th, this time in game-winning fashion with a running three-foot layup high off the glass as the buzzer sounded. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the stat began being tracked prior to the 2000-01 season, Fisher now has five game winning field goals, four in the regular season and one in the playoffs (FGM in last 10 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime). Only two, however, have actually come with the Lakers; the other being his famous 0.4 second buzzer beater 5/13/04 at San Antonio (74-73 win). Fisher's other game winners came with Utah (2/10/07 vs. NY (104-102 win) and Golden State (3/25/05 vs. MIL (118-117 win), 12/28/05 vs. BOS (111-109 win)).
Last season, teammate Kobe Bryant connected on six game-winners; the most game winning field goals of any player in a single season over the last 10 years (Carmelo Anthony ranks second on this list with five game-winning field goals in 2005-06). Since the start of the 2000-01 season, Bryant has 20 field goals that have given his team the lead within the last 10 seconds of a fourth quarter or overtime, the most in the league over that span.

EMPHATIC END TO LOSING STREAK
The Lakers ended their first 4-game losing streak since April of '07 with a 113-80 victory over Sacramento (12/3/10). It's the second-largest margin of victory to end a losing streak of at least four games the Lakers have ever had. The Lakers ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Hawks by 46 points on January 9, 2004 (113-67).*

IRON MAN
Entering the Lakers game vs. Milwaukee, Derek Fisher has played in 441 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, the longest consecutive games streak among all active NBA players. Fisher moved into the top position after Portland's Andre Miller (632) missed the Blazers game against Phoenix (12/7/10) due to NBA suspension. Additionally, Fisher has started 319 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than a season's worth of games (2nd – Luis Scola). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.






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