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.
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