Kobe Bryant led the surge with 31 points as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two game losing streak in Milwaukee as the team defeated the Bucks 118-107.
The offense outburst continued for the Lakers as the idea to play defense was way behind in the back of their minds at start of the game. The Lakers allowed the Bucks to shoot 63 percent after the first quarter and connect with five out of seven three point attempts.
The Lakers finished the first quarter leading 32-29, and shot 52 percent and had four offense rebounds while Bryant and Pau Gasol had 10 points apiece.
The Lakers’ defense was still absent in the second quarter as they allowed Milwaukee to shoot 70 percent at one point of the game as their bench put in 17 points in the first five minutes on the quarter.
As Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff are out with injuries, the Lakers were short handed with big men, so rookie forward Devin Ebanks saw some time at the power forward position. Ebanks made his presents known when he recovered from a blocked shot as he stripped the ball loose and finished with a lay-up and one.
The Bucks cooled off their hot shooting by halftime with 55 percent shooting from the field but led the Lakers at half, 59-57, and got 19 points from Brandon Jennings. The Lakers were led by Gasol and Bryant with 14 points apiece.
A sign of the Lakers defense made an appearance in the third quarter with steals from various Lakers and to create Bucks’ turnovers and Lakers’ fastbreaks.
In the third the Lakers regained the lead, 70-68, with a Bryant jumper with seven minutes left in the quarter, but the Bucks quickly took the lead back with a John Salmons three pointer.
The Lakers made a 10-0 run midway through the third which was led by Bryant’s 13 points of the quarter. The Lakers finished the quarter on an 18-5 run.
Los Angeles continued their effort on the defense end as the game continued into the fourth quarter, and receiving 36 points off the bench by the “killer bees,” Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown.
The Lakers finished the game giving up 17 offensive rebounds but managed to keep the Bucks at 46 percent on the field. The Lakers shot 54 percent from the field and grabbed 39 boards as a team.
Gasol finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Lamar Odom had 13 points and 7 rebounds. Ron Artest was limited tonight as he was bothered by his hips during the game.
Los Angeles now improves to 9-2 on the season and heads to Detroit overnight, as they take on the Pistons tomorrow night, looking to get their second win on the back-to-back of this three game road trip.