Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now

Los Angeles at Milwaukee

Lakers shoot down Bucks to snap 2-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MILWAUKEE -- Shannon Brown said his goal is to win the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. To be a serious candidate, he'll need to keep repeating performances like this one.

Brown scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-107 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

"I'm going to keep working and we're going to keep winning," Brown said. "It's more about doing what I've got to do to help my team win."

Los Angeles had started 8-0 before the consecutive losses, but Brown and Bryant sparked the Lakers on both ends of the floor against what had been the stingiest defense in the NBA.

"He's even a better shooter than he was last year," Bryant said. "You see him now making plays off the dribble, making plays for others, passing off the dribble. He continues to get better. This is just the beginning for him."

Bryant scored 13 points in the third quarter, including seven straight in a crucial stretch. Brown didn't skip a beat in the fourth, hitting four 3-pointers that stifled the Bucks' rally.

"Tried to open it up, that's my job coming off the bench, to get momentum if we're lacking or do whatever it takes," Brown said. "Today, it was hitting shots and playing defense."

More on Lakers at Bucks
Related links

Brandon Jennings scored 31 points, Andrew Bogut had 12 points and 18 rebounds, and Drew Gooden added 22 points and 13 boards for Milwaukee (5-6), which had its three-game winning streak end.

Brown's reverse layup gave Los Angeles a 99-88 lead with just over 8 minutes to play. Then the reserve guard added a jumper and a 3-pointer moments later to make it 104-90.

After Milwaukee went on a 7-0 run, Brown hit another 3 that pushed the lead back out to 107-97, and Milwaukee never got within two possessions of tying.

Gooden, Brown's former teammate in Cleveland and Chicago, just shook his head when reciting Brown's stat line.

"Shannon was so efficient out there for them. Seven of nine from the field, 21 points, 21 minutes, zero turnovers coming off the bench; that's an efficient game coming off the bench," Gooden said.

Bryant, who improved to 22-4 against Milwaukee, hurt the Bucks in the third quarter, scoring seven straight to break open a tight game in the first of three-game Midwest swing for Los Angeles that includes stops in Detroit and Minnesota.

After Bryant hit two free throws, he stripped John Salmons on the ensuing possession and got the ball back from Derek Fisher on the fast break. Bryant hit an easy layup as Jennings fouled him and converted the three-point play.

Bryant then drew another foul, this time on Salmons, and hit both of the free throws to make it 82-75.

Milwaukee had held some potent offenses to pitiful performances during its three-game winning streak. But there wouldn't be a repeat performance against the Lakers, who got to the rim and the foul line seemingly as much as they wanted. Pau Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Lamar Odom added 13 points and Fisher had 10.

Los Angeles showed it could play a little defense that was missing, too, in losses to Phoenix and Denver. Milwaukee committed four turnovers in the stretch because of the Lakers' pressure, even as the pace clearly favored Los Angeles.

"We talked about it at halftime, doing a better job defensively, we were really poor in the first half, just giving layup after layup," Bryant said. "It was good. It was not what we're used to doing, but it's a step in that direction."

The Lakers came in as the highest-scoring team in the NBA, averaging 112.5 points, and the Bucks were allowing an NBA-low 89.4. Steve Blake's 3-pointer busted the 90-point mark in the closing seconds of the third quarter and gave the Lakers their biggest lead, 90-81, heading into the fourth.

"They're the No. 1 offensive team in the league. We're the No. 1 defensively," Bogut said. "They won that battle, but I think we just have to do a better job defensively. We gave them a lot of easy baskets."

Notes

  • Bogut went 2 of 10 from the free throw line.
  • Lakers C Theo Ratliff had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove torn cartilage in his left knee. Ratliff is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks. Los Angeles is also without C Andrew Bynum, who hasn't returned from offseason knee surgery. The Lakers hope he'll return to practice next week. Coach Phil Jackson said in pregame that they may need to get another big man to bolster their front court.
  • Packers QB Aaron Rodgers sat courtside, as did several of his teammates.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Kobe Bryant turns it on for 31 points in Milwaukee. (Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant turns it on for 31 points in Milwaukee. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
L.A. Lakers (9-2) «32253328118
Milwaukee (5-6)29302226107
LAL:K. Bryant 31 Pts
LAL:P. Gasol 10 Reb
LAL:L. Odom 6 Ast
MIL:B. Jennings 31 Pts
MIL:A. Bogut 18 Reb
MIL:J. Salmons 6 Ast
Players of the Game
MilwaukeeLos Angeles

Brandon Jennings

Kobe Bryant
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
31363173
Los Angeles
P. Gasol, PF447-134-7104318
L. Odom, PF366-111-276513
K. Bryant, SG3310-2311-1173231
D. Fisher, PG253-72-212010
R. Artest, SF183-51-15207
M. Barnes, SF273-41-25249
S. Blake, PG232-40-01216
S. Brown, PG217-93-330321
L. Walton, SF80-00-00320
D. Ebanks, SF51-21-11003
T. Ratliff, CDid Not Play
S. Vujacic, SGDid Not Play
A. Bynum, CDid Not Play
D. Caracter, PFDid Not Play
Totals 42-7824-29402420118
 53.8%82.8% 
Milwaukee
A. Bogut, C435-132-10181212
B. Jennings, PG3912-263-336231
J. Salmons, SF364-130-006310
D. Gooden, PF348-114-4130322
L. Mbah a Moute, SF240-40-03140
K. Dooling, PG180-20-01420
C. Maggette, SF155-105-821315
E. Ilyasova, SF153-52-24119
E. Boykins, PG134-50-01218
L. Sanders, PF40-00-02020
M. Redd, SGDid Not Play
C. Delfino, SGDid Not Play
C. Douglas-Roberts, SGDid Not Play
J. Brockman, PFDid Not Play
D. Hobson, SFDid Not Play
Totals 41-8916-27472223107
 46.1%59.3% 
Other Games
Phi 93 Final
Cle 101
Atl 102 Final
Ind 92
Tor 94 Final
Wash 109
Port 100 Final
Mem 99
Chi 95 Final
Hou 92
NY 118 Final
Den 120