Lakers 104 - Bucks 88 (end of regulation)
The Lakers won their second game in a row, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 104-88. The Lakers took a six-point lead to start the period and quickly turned that into a 20-point advantage.
Dwight Howard had one of his most dominant nights as a Lakers scoring 31 points on 14-18 shooting with 16 rebounds and four blocks.
Kobe Bryant also had 31 on 12-19 shooting with six assists and just one turnover. The Lakers had only 10 turnovers for the game, a point of emphasis for the coaching staff dating back to Mike Brown.
The Bucks were led by Monta Ellis who scored 17 points on 6-16 shooting. Brandon Jennings struggled, guarded primarily by Bryant, scoring just 12 points and dishing a single assist.
Milwaukee's bench gave the Lakers trouble early but tapered off as the game progressed. Mike Dunleavy Jr., with his father Mike Dunleavy Sr. (formerly with the Lakers and Clippers) in the audience, gave the Bucks an early boost and finished with 10 points.
The Lakers shot 50% from the field and played a strong defensive game, holding the Bucks to 35.8% from the field. Milwaukee stayed competitive with a big night on the boards, grabbing 21 offensive rebounds to the Lakers' eight.
The Lakers improve to 17-21, gaining a game on both the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers who both lost Tuesday night. The Bucks dip to 19-18.
Lakers 79 - Bucks 73 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers and Bucks battled in the third. It wasn't an especially pretty quarter of basketball but both teams fought for it.
Kobe Bryant's late basket with 1.8 left in the quarter gave the Lakers a six-point lead. Bryant tied Howard with 23 for the game along with six assists. Howard blocked four shots while hitting 10-12 from the field.
The Bucks were led by Monta Ellis with 15 points on 5-14 shooting. Milwaukee shot 40% from the field but continued to dominate the boards with 40 to the Lakers' 31, including a 14-5 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Lakers have just seven turnovers for the game but five in the third quarter.
Lakers 57 - Bucks 50 (halftime)
The Bucks bench gave the Lakers issues and Coach Jim Boylan stuck with his reserves for most of the second quarter. Milwaukee got eight points from Mike Dunleavy and six apiece from Beno Udrih and Samuel Dalembert.
Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard scored 16 each with Bryant hitting 7-9 from the field, slightly behind Howard's 7-8. The Lakers as a team his 54.8% of their shots and turned the ball over just twice.
The Lakers closed the half on a 12-4 run.
Three starters for the Bucks had just two points (Brandon Jennings, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova.
Lakers 29 - Bucks 27 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers took an early 12-point lead against the Bucks but the bench gave nearly all of it away before the end of the period.
With Kobe Bryant guarding Brandon Jennings, Earl Clark on Monta Ellis and Steve Nash on small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the Bucks struggled to score. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard scored eight apiece.
The Lakers were up by 11 with 3:25 left when Howard and Bryant sat. The score was 27-16 with 2:55 but a lineup with Clark and four reserves let the Bucks go on a run.
Monta Ellis had 10 as the Bucks shot 41.7% from the field. The Lakers shot 45.5%.
The Lakers (16-21) will host the Bucks (19-17) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Milwaukee brings in a pair of explosive guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Jennings is playing some of his best basketball, and was just named the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
The Bucks are guard-heavy in their scoring. The Lakers will need to handle Milwaukee's penetration without fouling. If they can put together a strong defensive effort, the Lakers should be able to win their second game in a row after six-straight losses.
Pau Gasol, who is still recovering from a concussion, will not play.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Bucks.
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Pau Gasol ruled out for Tuesday game due to concussion
Lakers' Week 11 in review
Email Eric Pincus at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.