Pacers begin western swing vs. Lakers

( - The Indiana Pacers, armed with a two-game winning streak, head west, starting Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

The Pacers knocked off the Miami Heat on Wednesday, then kicked off 2015 with a three-point road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Friday at the Bradley Center.

C.J. Miles buried six 3-pointers for 22 points off the bench to lead the Pacers. Roy Hibbert added 18 points and Luis Scola scored 14 for Indiana, which was won five of its last seven.

The Bucks led by as many as seven in this one and carried a 68-66 advantage into the fourth quarter, but Indiana took the lead for good on Donald Sloan's 3 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.

"We closed it out well enough," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.

Milwaukee was just 9-of-24 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including 1- for-7 on 3-pointers.

Rodney Stuckey added 11 points, while Sloan had 10.

George Hill missed the Bucks' win with a groin injury and his primary backup, C.J. Watson, also sat with a sore left foot.

The Pacers will visit the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors on this trip.

The Lakers have struggled recently with four losses in their last five. They've dropped two straight at home, including Friday's three-point setback to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Kobe Bryant scored his only points of the fourth quarter on a 3 that got the Lakers within 106-105 with 24.2 seconds left. He nearly sent the game to overtime with an off-balance 3 from near the left sideline with just 0.6 ticks remaining, but ball hit off the far side of the rim as the Grizzlies prevailed 109-106.

Jeremy Lin led the Lakers with 20 points off the bench, but also drew the ire of Bryant late in the game.

After knocking down his 3, Bryant shouted at Lin to foul Mike Conley, who could have dribbled off all but 0.2 seconds of the remaining clock. Bryant raced from the baseline to the point to foul Conley himself and kept running past midcourt, flailing his arms in frustration.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said later he was worried about how many timeouts he had left and told Lin to wait until there were 10 seconds left to foul.

"I told Kobe that was my judgement," Scott said.

Lin said he asked Scott if he should foul.

"He said no," Lin recounted. "Then I asked like two or three more times and he said no. Then Kobe came out of nowhere."

Bryant had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Ed Davis also scored 20 points and Carlos Boozer and Nick Young both added 14 off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 53.1 percent from the field.

The Pacers beat the Lakers by 19 in Indianapolis on Dec. 15 and have taken three straight in this series. Indiana has won four straight versus LA as the visitor.