Both Pau Gasol and Steve Nash did not make the Los Angeles Lakers’ two-game road trip, which began on Thursday in Milwaukee. The Bucks own the worst record in the league at 13-58, but were looking for the season sweep over the Lakers. With Gasol sidelined due to vertigo, Chris Kaman again earned the start despite joining the team late after tending to a personal matter.
The Lakers began the game cold on offense and the Bucks took advantage, pushing the ball up the court to build an early lead. Kaman helped the Lakers cut into the deficit, scoring four points during a 7-0 run. Jordan Hill formed a potent attack with Kaman, adding eight points of his own in the quarter. Xavier Henry scored four points off the bench as the Lakers finished the quarter leading by four points.
After getting his 3-pointer blocked towards the end of the first quarter, Nick Young responded to score seven points less than three minutes into the second. Kent Bazemore and Xavier Henry also contributed on offense, but the Laker defense continued to struggle and the Bucks tied the game with just under six minutes remaining. Hill finished the half with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but with 13 points from Brandon Knight, the Bucks held a 55-53 lead going into the third.
The Lakers third quarter woes returned as they allowed the Bucks to go on a 6-2 spurt, which led to Mike D’Antoni calling a timeout. Following the timeout, the two teams traded baskets through much of the quarter, with Hill and Young providing the offensive punch for the Lakers. At the end of the third quarter, the Lakers bench had combined for 33 points. Knight scored 10 points in the third and helped the Bucks fight off the Lakers’ strong bench play to hold a seven-point lead at the end of three.
With the Lakers missing their first four shots of the quarter, the Bucks went on a 6-0 run, which extended their lead to 11 points. Former Laker Ramon Sessions made a 3-pointer that gave the Bucks a 12-point lead, their largest of the game, with 8:52 remaining. Hill, Young and Jodie Meeks combined for a 6-0 run to get the Lakers within five points. Young and Hill continue to battle and cut the lead to four with less than a minute remaining, but the Lakers were unable to get the stops they needed as they fall to the Bucks 108-105.
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