Lakers Pull Away In Second Half To Beat Bucks, Snap Two-Game Skid

The Lakers have beaten Milawukee six straight times, and have won 25 of their last 30 meetings.

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Lakers Vs. Bucks: Shannon Brown Stellar Off The Bench

The Los Angeles Lakers are now 9-2 after 11 games, after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks, 118-107, in the first game of their three-game road trip. Kobe Bryant led the way in Tuesday's win in Milwaukee, with 31 points, but a big lift was provided by Shannon Brown off the bench. Brown scored 21 points in his 21 minutes of play, making seven of his nine shots, continuing his stellar play this season.

Brown is leading all Lakers reserves is scoring this season, averaging 11.3 points per game, all while averaging just 18.8 minutes per contest. Brown has been remarkably consistent this season. He has made at least half of his field goal attempts in eight of the Lakers' 11 games this season, and on the season Brown is shooting 52.3% this season, after shooting 42.7% last season. Brown has made 20 of 39 three-point field goals (51.3%), and 26 of 49 two-point shots (53.1%).

More importantly, Brown looks incredibly comfortable within the triangle offense this season. Empirically, he doesn't seem to be forcing anything, and is thriving because of it. Whether that is due to often playing alongside a more conciliatory Steve Blake this season compared to last season's Jordan Farmar, or whether Brown is simply maturing, the Lakers are better because of it. Brown, making $2.2 million this season, is fast becoming one of the NBA's better bargains.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers 118, Bucks 107: Lakers Pull Away In Second Half To Beat Bucks

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 118-107 win over the Milwaukee Bucks to open their three-game road trip through the midwest. The Lakers have beaten the Bucks in 25 of their last 30 meetings, including each of the last six meetings. Shannon Brown scored 21 points, on 7-of-9 shooting, off the bench for the Lakers, who are 3-1 on the road this season.

The Lakers trailed Milwaukee 59-57 at halftime, but pulled ahead for good with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, on a Kobe Bryant jumper. After shooting 55.3% in the first half, the Bucks were held to 35.7% shooting in the second half, and scored just 48 points in the final 24 minutes. Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 31 points in defeat.

If watching three-pointers reign down from the heavens is your idea of basketball fun, watching Laker games just might be for you. Tonight, the Lakers made 10 of 16 shots from beyond the arc, while the Bucks made nine of 24 triples. On the season, Laker games feature an average of 43.6 three-point attempts, the most in the NBA, and those shots are going in. The Lakers have made an NBA-best 42.9%, while they have allowed their opponents to make 38.0%. The NBA league average three-point shooting, coming into tonight, was 35.8%.

For the second straight game, Lamar Odom was involved in a ridiculous call which hurt the Lakers. With 6:27 remaining in the game, after not getting a foul call on the offensive end, Odom bumped, or let's say lightly shoved Drew Gooden while running down the floor. Odom was amazingly called for a flagrant foul on a play that should have been a personal foul at worst. On Sunday against Phoenix, Odom was called for a technical as part of the NBA's "no emotion" rule with under a minute remaining in the game.

The Lakers resume their road trip tomorrow night in Detroit Wednesday night against the Pistons.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Bucks: Lakers Give Up Hot-Shooting Again To Trail At Halftime, 59-57

The Los Angeles Lakers allowed another team to knock down shots at a high percentage, as the Milwaukee Bucks have the lead, 59-57 after the first half Tuesday night at the Bradley Center. Forgive the Lakers for feeling deja vu tonight, as the Bucks made five of their first six three-point attempts in the first quarter, a brutal reminder of Sunday night's 22-three barrage by the Phoenix Suns. However, not only did the Lakers lead after one quarter, 32-29, they recovered to allow Milwaukee to make just one of four three-point attempts in the second quarter.

The Bucks shot 55.3% in the first half, compared to 51.3% for the Lakers. The Bucks did commit 13 personal fouls to just three for the Lakers, resulting in a 19-1 free throw advantage for Los Angeles. Each team had 20 rebounds. There were 16 ties in the first half.

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol each had 14 points for the Lakers. Gasol made five of his seven field goal attempts, added five rebounds, but missed three of his seven foul shots. Bryant, who was one assist shy of a triple-double Sunday night, made six of his 12 shots and had three rebounds in the first half. Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 19 points, making three of his six three-point tries.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Bucks: Andrew Bynum Back By Thanksgiving?

With an 8-2 start, there isn't much for the Los Angeles Lakers to really complain about. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that their defense could use an infusion of Andrew Bynum. In a little over a week, they just might get it, as the 23-year old center telling reporters that a Thanksgiving return "sounds about right."

The Lakers don't play on Thanksgiving Day, but they do play on Friday, November 26, at the Utah Jazz. If that were Bynum's first game back, it would put his total games missed at 15 to start the season. The return of Bynum is needed, as the Lakers' front line is thin without him. Pau Gasol is playing nearly 39 minutes per night, and Lamar Odom is battling a bone bruise in his right foot. Backup big man Theo Ratliff will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which means rookie Derrick Caracter could see more minutes, and Phil Jackson is no fan of playing rookies.

Bynum coming back would ease the load off the front line, even if he's only playing 15-20 minutes a night when he comes back. The last two losses have exposed some flaws in the interior defense, as captured by the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll. Dexter Fishmore pointed out last week that, in the loss in Denver, the Lakers allowed the Nuggets to take 33 shots, and make 23 shots from point-blank range, both well above the league average. As for the Suns making a whopping 22 of 40 three-pointers on Sunday night, Fishmore pointed out, "with Drew there to protect the rim, guys can stick to their perimeter assignments more closely."

Last year, the Lakers ranked fourth in the NBA in defensive rating, giving up 103.3 points per 100 possessions. So far this season, the Lakers have dropped to 15th, allowing 107.5 points per 100 possessions. Getting Bynum back is definitely something to be thankful for.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Bucks: Lamar Odom Expected To Play With Bone Bruise; Ratliff Out

The Los Angeles Lakers travel to Milwaukee tonight looking to snap their two-game losing streak. The Lakers are beginning a three-game road trip that will also see them travel to Detroit and Minnesota. The Laker front line is getting thinner, as both Lamar Odom and Theo Ratliff had MRIs on Monday, with varying results. Here are tonight's probable starting lineups and busy injury reports for both teams:

Lakers

Point Guard: Derek Fisher

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant

Small Forward: Ron Artest

Power Forward: Lamar Odom

Center: Pau Gasol

Odom is technically listed as questionable with a bone bruise in his right foot, but he is expected to start. Ratliff got worse news, is he will undergo arthroscopic surgery this week on his left knee, and he did not accompany the Lakers on their road trip. Steve Blake, who missed Sunday night's game with a stomach virus, is listed as day-to-day with the unpleasant-sounding gastroenteritis. Luke Walton is probable with a strained right hamstring.

Bucks

Point Guard: Brandon Jennings

Shooting Guard: John Salmons

Small Forward: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Power Forward: Drew Gooden

Center: Andrew Bogut

Outside of the long-term injuries to Michael Redd and 2010 draftee Darington Hobson, the Bucks have a few minor injuries. Carlos Delfino is day-to-day with a neck strain, and Chris Douglas-Roberts is day-to-day with an injury to his right eye.

Tonight's 5 p.m. game will be televised on KCAL.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Battle Bucks In Opener Of Three-Game Road Trip

Five days ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were on top of the basketball world, one of two undefeated teams in the NBA. Two games and two losses later, the Lakers find themselves in their version of relative chaos as they embark on a three-game road trip in the midwest. The Lakers head to the Bradley Center tonight to battle the Milwaukee Bucks, winners of their last three games.

The front line of the Lakers, already without center Andrew Bynum, got a little thinner on Monday. Both Lamar Odom and Theo Ratliff had MRIs yesterday, and Ratliff will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, per ESPN. Ratliff did not travel with Lakers on their road trip. The news was better for Odom, who was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right foot. Odom, who is fifth in the league averaging 10.9 rebounds per game this season, is expected to play tonight.

The Lakers have beaten the Bucks five straight times, and have won 24 of their last 29 games against Milwaukee. The Bucks are 19th in the NBA in three-point shooting, at 34.7%, lest the Lakers are gun shy after allowing the Phoenix Suns to make 22 of 40 three-pointers in their loss on Sunday night. Tonight's game will be a contrast in styles, as the Lakers lead the league in offensive rating, averaging 116.7 points per 100 possessions. The Bucks are 29th out of 30 NBA teams, averaging 99.8 points per 100 possessions. The Bucks are the league's top defensive squad, allowing a league-low 96.9 points per 100 possessions. The Lakers are in the middle of the pack defensively, a clear effect of missing Bynum, allowing 107.5 points per 100 possessions.

The Lakers are 2-1 on the road this season. Tonight is the first game of a three-game road trip that will also see the Lakers travel to Detroit and Minnesota. Milwaukee is 3-2 at home this season.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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