Kobe Bryant inspires Lakers victory
Forward Kobe Bryant scored 22 points in three quarters, allowing the Los Angeles Lakers to snap a six-game losing streak by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 113-95 at Staples Centre on Tuesday.
Rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell came off the bench to score 19 points and record seven assists as seven Lakers reached double figures in scoring.
Guard Lou Williams scored 16 points, forward Julius Randle finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds and centre Roy Hibbert added 12 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for Los Angeles (4-21), which won for only the second time at home this season.
Reserve guard Michael Carter-Williams had 19 points and guard Khris Middleton chipped in 16 to lead Milwaukee (10-16), which has dropped three of its last four games.
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Bucks did not play anything close to their performance in Saturday’s 108-95 win over Golden State that ended the Warriors’ perfect 24-0 start to the season. Against the Lakers, the Bucks fell into an early hole and never recovered.
Milwaukee also was hurt playing without centre Greg Monroe, who was a late scratch with a sore left knee. Monroe apparently bumped knees with a teammate during the team’s shoot-around on Tuesday morning. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.
The Lakers dictated the first half en route to a 55-46 lead at the break and continued their dominance in the second half.
Los Angeles opened the third quarter with a 10-2 surge, including a crowd-pleasing dunk by forward Larry Nance Jr over Bucks centre John Henson, for a 17-point advantage after a Bryant fadeaway at 8:47.
Another Lakers run that featured a four-point play by Bryant pushed the lead to 75-53 after a reverse layup by Russell on an assist from Bryant. Los Angeles led 86-66 heading into the final quarter.
With the victory, the Lakers also ended a run of 14 straight opponents scoring at least 100 points.
The Bucks outshot the Lakers 47.1 percent to 46.1 percent but Los Angeles had an edge in three-pointers, making 10-of-27 (37 percent) to only 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) for Milwaukee.