A new era of winning basketball was on the cusp for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the team entered the 1999-00 season with championship aspirations following the hiring of Hall-of-Fame head coach Phil Jackson.
On Jan. 28, 2000, the Lakers looked to get back on track with a home matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. At the end of the first quarter, Los Angeles found themselves with a five-point cushion and never looked back from there.
The Lakers increased their lead over Milwaukee in the second quarter and entered halftime with a 12-point advantage. The second half was much of the same for Los Angeles, as they once again outscored the Bucks in back-to-back quarters to win by a final score of 117-89.
Shaquille O’Neal set the tone offensively for the Lakers behind a game-high 30 points, eight rebounds and four assists over 33 minutes. He additionally tallied four blocks and sunk four of his five free throw attempts during the contest.
Kobe Bryant completed the Lakers’ scoring attack with 23 points and picked up three steals on the defensive end in 33 minutes of action.
Leading the way for the Bucks was Sam Cassell, who scored 18 points while knocking down six of his 14 field goal attempts. What’s more, he collected five rebounds and dished out four assists, though he also committed five turnovers as well.
Ray Allen added 14 of his own points, but struggled from the floor and converted just four of his 14 shots on the night — including an 0-for-4 showing from behind the arc.
For the Lakers, the victory improved their record to 34-9 on the year while snapping a two-game losing streak in the process. The Bucks fell to 23-20 after the defeat, but remained in the realm of a postseason berth in the Eastern Conference.
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