NBA Game Summary - Milwaukee at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, November 23rd)
Final Score: LA Lakers 100, Milwaukee 96
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant led the way with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals as the Los Angeles Lakers downed the Milwaukee Bucks, 100-96, at the Staples Center.
Lamar Odom shot 8-of-12 for 17 points and pulled down nine boards to help the Lakers to their fourth win in five tries. Caron Butler added 16 points in the victory.
The contingent at Staples also was finally able to welcome back center Vlade Divac, who has been sidelined with a bad back since re-signing with the Lakers in the offseason. Divac was activated from the injured list before the game and played only five minutes.
"I was a little nervous before the game," Divac said. "It has been eight years and to be in a gold uniform again is something that I was looking forward to this summer."
Desmond Mason was a scorching 12-for-16 from the field for 26 points, but it was not enough to prevent the Bucks from their fifth straight defeat. Mike James netted 18 points and dished out a personal-best 11 assists in a losing cause. Leading scorer Michael Redd was held to just six points on 1-of-8 shooting in 30 minutes.
"We did a good job on Michael Redd and Keith Van Horn," Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Kobe was fantastic on Redd. Mason was unbelievable."
Milwaukee went ahead in the final period with six of the first eight points, but it turned out to be its last lead the rest of the way.
Butler gave Los Angeles a little breathing room with a dunk midway through for an 86-82 edge and Bryant drove to the hoop to make it a six-point game.
Chucky Atkins stole the ball from Redd a minute later and fed Butler for a big three-point play and a 91-84 cushion with 4:34 to go.
The seven-point margin stayed intact until the Bucks threatened late with four points in a row. Down 95-92, Milwaukee retained possession after a pair of misses, but Bryant swiped the ball from Redd and converted two free throws to seal the win.
"We had some defensive stops in the fourth quarter and that's the way you do it, you close it out with stops," Tomjanovich added.
Five straight points by Brian Cook staked the Lakers to a 13-point lead early in the second quarter, but Mason scored half of his team's points during a 12-0 run that shrunk the difference to one at 32-31.
Mason's hot streak continued as he netted 18 points overall in the period to put the Bucks in front on the way to a 52-47 halftime advantage.
Bryant tallied six points during an 8-0 spurt at the start of the third period as Los Angeles went back ahead 55-52.
The rest of the third quarter was tightly contested and James beat the buzzer with a long three to leave the Bucks down by one at 74-73.
Los Angeles has won seven straight and 16 of the last 18 meetings in this series...Van Horn finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds...Redd shot 6-of-22 in Sunday's 88-79 loss to Sacramento...The Lakers also activated forward Jumaine Jones from the injured list and placed Brian Grant (calf) and Sasha Vujacic (ankle) on the injured list.
11/24 01:45:09 ET