Lakers Delivered Lump Of Coal In Their Stocking By Christmas Elf

Tonight's loss snapped a six-game Lakers winning streak over the Bucks.

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Lakers Vs. Bucks: Earl Boykins, Bucks Dominate Lakers, 98-79

Whether the Los Angeles Lakers were looking ahead to Saturday's showdown with the Miami Heat or not, the Lakers got their rear ends handed to them by the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night, losing 98-79 at Staples Center. On the Fox Sports West broadcast, coach Phil Jackson noted that Kobe Bryant told his teammates before the game, "Don't ruin Christmas by losing to the Milwaukee Bucks." It is not yet known whether tonight's loss has in fact ruined Christmas in Laker land -- I have to think a win over Miami would improve the holiday spirit quite a bit -- but Bryant himself didn't stick around for the ending of tonight's debacle.

Bryant was ejected with 2:07 remaining in the game, after picking up two quick technical fouls, the end result of a frustrating game for Kobe and the Lakers. It was a long day for Bryant overall, too, as Jackson said in the postgame press conference that Bryant was involved in a minor car accident earlier in the day. Bryant scored 21 points in the loss.

Earl Boykins led all scorers with 22 points, making eight of his 12 field goals in 26 minutes off the bench. Boykins hit four three-pointers and generally had his way with both Derek Fisher and Steve Blake when Milwaukee was on offense. The Bucks dominated the game, averaging 1.18 points per possession, compared to just 0.98 for the Lakers. Milwaukee shot 50.7% in the game, compared to 45.5% for the Lakers. The Bucks made eight of 14 shots from beyond the arc, while the Lakers made just two of 13 three-pointers.

The Lakers will take Wednesday off, then practice for two days before Saturday's game against the Heat.

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

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Lakers Vs. Bucks: Brandon Jennings Out After Foot Surgery

The Los Angeles Lakers are in search of a sixth straight win tonight, when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center. They will face a Bucks team without leading scorer Brandon Jennings, who underwent surgery Monday to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his left foot. Jennings had played every game this season prior to Monday's loss in Portland, and was averaging 17.9 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds on the season. Former Clipper Keyon Dooling started at point guard Monday night in Jennings' place, and is expected to do so again tonight.

The Lakers have won five straight games, finishing their road trip 6-1. They have beaten the Bucks six straight times. Kobe Bryant has scored 20 or more points in 14 of his last 15 games against the Bucks, a stretch during which the Lakers have gone 13-2 against Milwaukee. Kobe has scored 30 points in seven of those 15 games. Bryant scored 20 points on Sunday in Toronto, giving him 26,514 points in his career. He surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon for the third-most points for one team in NBA history, and now trails only Karl Malone (36,374 points for Utah) and Michael Jordan (29,277 points for Chicago). Kobe is third in the league in scoring this season, averaging 25.9 points per game.

Here are tonight's probable starting lineups:

Bucks

A pair of Bucks have concussion-like symptoms. Carlos Delfino is out for tonight's game, while Corey Maggette is listed as day-to-day.

Lakers

The Lakers have used the same starting lineup for all 28 games so far this season. That figures to change at some point soon, whenever Bynum is deemed ready to return to the starting five.

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

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Lakers Host Bucks Hoping Not To Look Ahead To Christmas Day

The Los Angeles Lakers could understandably be looking ahead to their Christmas Day showdown with the Miami Heat, but they still have one more game to play beforehand. The Lakers host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at home, after six games away from Staples Center. After a home-heavy early schedule, the just-completed seven-game road trip has pushed the Lakers to the other end of the spectrum. Only the Minnesota Timberwolves, with 11, have played fewer home games than the 12 played by the Lakers.

The Lakers have won five straight games, including the last four (all with Andrew Bynum) by double digits. The Bucks have lost their last three games, and are 3-10 on the road this season. The Lakers are 10-2 at home. The Lakers have won their last six meetings with the Bucks, including a 118-107 win in Milwaukee on November 16.

After tonight's game with Milwaukee, the Lakers' schedule gets considerably tougher in the next week or so. After battling the 21-9 Heat on Christmas, the Lakers play back-to-back games next week on the road against the 24-3 San Antonio Spurs and 16-12 New Orleans Hornets. As C.A. Clark notes on Silver Screen and Roll, the Lakers have played the easiest schedule in the NBA by far this season, but overall the schedule won't get considerably tougher consistently until the middle of January. So, enjoy tonight's game against the Bucks as a pre-Christmas snack.

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

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