NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 21st (All times eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (10-16) at Los Angeles Lakers (21-7), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The surging Los Angeles Lakers are back at home after a lengthy road trip and will welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Staples Center tonight.
The two-time defending NBA champion Lakers went 6-1 on the trek and are riding a five-game winning streak. In Sunday's 120-110 victory at Toronto, Kobe Bryant finished with a team-high 20 points and Pau Gasol added 19 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles, which got 16 points and seven boards off the bench from Andrew Bynum.
Shannon Brown added 14 points and Matt Barnes had 12 in the win.
"I'm very pleased with the bench and how they performed in both the second and third quarters," Lakers coach Phil Jackson told NBA.com. "I thought they bailed out the starters in a significant amount of minutes."
Los Angeles will also host LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Christmas Day and own a 10-2 mark at home this season. Bynum is questionable tonight due to his sore right knee.
Milwaukee has dropped three in a row and will resume a three-game road trip Tuesday night.
The Bucks are coming off Monday's 106-80 drubbing at the hands of Portland, as John Salmons led the way with 23 points and Keyon Dooling added 12 and five assists in a losing effort.
"We weren't very competitive early in the game, that's for sure," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. "They just moved around freely around the floor."
Luc Mbah a Moute and Drew Gooden both ended with 10 points. Milwaukee will also visit Sacramento and is 3-10 outside of the Bradley Center this season. Guard Brandon Jennings (foot) did not play against the Blazers and is expected to miss four to six weeks of action. Forward Corey Maggette is expected to miss Tuesday's game because of concussion-like symptoms.
LA defeated the Bucks, 118-107, back on Nov. 16 this season in Wisconsin and has won six straight and 25 of the past 30 meetings in this series. The Bucks have lost two in a row and 16 of 18 games at the Lakers.
12/21 11:11:49 ET