Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and had three assists in a solid all-around performance. But it was really the play of Shannon Brown off the bench that propelled the Lakers to victory. Brown scored 16 of his 21 points in the decisive fourth quarter, including 4-5 from behind the 3-point line, helping the Lakers erase a 59-57 halftime deficit.
Pau Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Lamar Odom added 13 points and 7 boards, as the Lakers rebounded from Sunday night’s shocking loss at home to the Suns at home where they allowed 22 3-pointers. On this night, they held the Bucks to 46.1% from the field, and just 9-24 from beyond the arc (37.5%).
The Bucks were hot early though, hitting 8-13 from the 3-point line, and taking a back-and-forth battle to the locker room with a lead. The Lakers turned up the defense in the second half, holding the Bucks to 22 points in the third quarter and taking a 90-81 lead into the final period. They Bucks never got closer than seven after that.
The Lakers shot the ball well in all facets on Tuesday, hitting 53.8% from the field, 82.8% from the foul line, and a season-high 10-16 (62.5%) from the 3-point line.
Los Angeles-born Brandon Jennings led the home team with 31 points and 6 assists. Drew Gooden had a superb game with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Bogut, still struggling with his shooting elbow, scored 12, and grabbed 18 rebounds (9 offensive), but hit just 2-10 from the free throw line.
The Lakers play the second game on this three-game trip tomorrow night in Detroit against the struggling Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Lakers have beaten the Pistons the last two years at the Palace, after dropping six straight there.
Link: Lakers @ Bucks Box Score