NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 28th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (11-8) at Milwaukee Bucks (7-11), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Fresh off halting a three-game skid, the Los Angeles Lakers will begin a tough stretch tonight in Milwaukee in which they will play eight of nine games on the road.
Kobe Bryant netted 24 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists on Wednesday as the Lakers squeaked past the rival Clippers, 96-91, at Staples Center.
Pau Gasol contributed a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Andrew Bynum had 19 points and six rebounds for the Lakers, who have now beaten the Clippers nine consecutive times when tabbed as the host.
Rookie Andrew Goudelock had a career-high 14 off the bench and Metta World Peace dished out a season-high seven assists.
"I thought our guys played a good game," Lakers head coach Mike Brown said. "We got a lot of production from a lot of different guys. The Clippers are a good team, they're athletic and they have a lot of talent. I applaud our guys for trying to defend out there."
The Lakers, however, are just 1-6 away from SoCal so far and this stretch could very well define their season. After tonight's game LA will visit Minnesota before making a short stop home to face off with Charlotte. Brown's team will then hit the road for six straight starting in Denver.
The Bucks, meanwhile, fell in Chicago on Friday, 107-100, after learning they would be without their best player, center Andrew Bogut, for up to three months.
Bogut left Wednesday's game in Houston with what was originally called a left ankle sprain. However, Milwaukee general manager John Hammond confirmed that the big man fractured the ankle on Friday through the club's Twitter account.
"This morning in Milwaukee, Andrew had additional diagnostic tests performed on his left ankle. The results of the testing confirmed a left ankle fracture which will keep Bogut sidelined for a period of 8-to-12 weeks."
The Bucks stayed competitive against the mighty Bulls without Bogut but Derrick Rose proved to be too much in the end, pouring in a season-high 34 points to lead the Bulls.
Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Drew Gooden, replacing Bogut in the starting lineup, added 23 points and 15 boards. Jon Leuer added a season-high 19 points.
Chicago really ratcheted up its defensive effort in the third quarter, forcing the Bucks to shoot just 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) in the frame.
"They were coming out hard on the pick-and-rolls and doubling me a little bit more," Jennings said of the Bulls' defensive effort. "I wasn't able to come off the pick-and-roll like I was in the first half."
Milwaukee snapped a six-game skid to the Lakers with a 98-79 win at Staples Center last season.
01/28 10:44:57 ET