Milwaukee, WI – Larry Sanders led five Milwaukee starters in double-figures with 21 points and 13 rebounds, as the Bucks picked up a much- needed 113-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday at the Bradley Center.
Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings each netted 20 points for the Bucks, who saw a four-game losing skid come to an end. Monta Ellis filled out the stat sheet with 18 points, nine assists and seven boards and Marquis Daniels followed with 16 points in the victory.
Kobe Bryant scored 30 points and is now four shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain for fourth-most on the NBA career points list. The Lakers, though, have lost four of their last five games.
After the game, the Lakers revealed Bryant has a bone spur in his left foot. He will visit a foot doctor in Sacramento Friday.
Steve Nash registered 16 points and with six helpers, while Dwight Howard had a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds in the setback.
"Tonight, we were suppose to win this game and we gave it up," said Howard. "We have to help each other on defense, we have to do a better job."
It was a toe-to-toe start to the second half with the Bucks sticking around early, but around the midway point, they trailed by six. Milwaukee wasn't done yet as Daniels then nailed a corner triple to kick start a 13-2 run which saw the hosts take a 76-71 lead with 2:55 left in the quarter.
Sanders, who had 13 alone in the third, brought the crowd to its feet as his dunk capped the run. After the Bucks battled to take control though, Los Angeles still managed to cut its deficit to 82-77 to head into the fourth.
The home team's lead quickly faded as Steve Blake hit a 3-pointer minutes into the final stanza to give the Lakers a 88-87 edge. The Bucks, though, determined to not let one slip away, answered yet again.
A game-changing 17-4 flurry over the next 4 1/2 minutes that Daniels ended with a steal-and-slam made it 104-92 with 4:10 to play.
"We came out and accepted the challenge, we needed a win bad," said Daniels. "We came out with more intensity and more energy."
Los Angeles simply had nothing left in the tank and never got closer than eight, as Milwaukee was able to hold on to close the contest and secure the victory.
The Lakers held a 25-18 advantage after the first quarter while Bryant scored the team's final eight points.
The visitors kept their edge into the second as Pau Gasol's hook shot with 4:51 to play made it a 46-35 contest. Milwaukee, however, closed the first half on a 18-10 swing to get within 56-53 at the break.
Bryant needs five points to pass Chamberlain's 31,419 career point total ... The Lakers had won eight of their last 11 in Milwaukee ... The series is tied 1-1 this season ... The Bucks won the second chance points battle, 20-12 and outscored the Lakers 54-48 on points in the paint.