MILWAUKEE — Kobe Bryant hit a
15-footer as time expired and scored the game’s final seven points over
the last 1:18 of overtime to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 107-106
victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
Bryant, who had 27 of his 39 points
in the second half and overtime, missed a shot from nearly the same
spot from the left elbow that would’ve won it at the buzzer to end
Given a second chance, he backed down Charlie Bell again and drained the jumper to start the celebration.
Pau Gasol had 26 points and a
career-high 22 rebounds for the Lakers (20-4), who tied Boston for the
best record in the NBA with their 13th win in the last 14 games.
Bryant, who scored 42 points in a win
over Chicago on Tuesday night, was again sharp when it counted despite
a broken right index finger that’s been hampering his ball-handling and
follow-through. He went 13-of-28 from the field and hit all 12 of his
Reserve Michael Redd had 25 points
and Ersan Ilyasova added a career-high 24, but the Bucks lost their
fourth straight in the series with the Lakers and are 3-14 in the last
This one was painful.
Milwaukee took a 106-100 lead in overtime after Redd hit a 3 and Luke Ridnour added a 15-footer.
Bryant hit a jumper and after
Ilyasova missed two free throws, the Lakers star added a three-point
play by plowing into Andrew Bogut, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds,
to make it 106-105 with 48 seconds left.
Both Ridnour and Redd missed shots
for the Bucks, and Ron Artest grabbed a rebound with 5.4 seconds left.
After a timeout, Lamar Odom inbounded the ball to Bryant, who hit the
Gasol has 78 rebounds in his last
four games, including three 20-rebound performances. His 78 boards is
the NBA’s best mark in a four-game span since Marcus Camby had 79
during a stretch that ended in January last season, according to STATS,
Milwaukee trailed 74-71 heading into
the fourth, but took an 85-80 lead midway through the quarter. The
Lakers failed to tie it until Gasol’s three-point play and Bryant’s
turnaround fallaway evened it at 93 with 2:11 left.
The game tightened considerably from there, with both teams missing chances to take the lead until Derek Fisher hit a 17-footer.
Bogut then drew a foul on Gasol and
made the basket with 21 seconds left, but missed a free throw that
would’ve given Milwaukee a lead. Bryant was isolated on Bell, but
missed a contested 16-footer to send the game into overtime.
Artest and Odom got technical
fouls in the game, both for arguing calls. … The Lakers didn’t spend
much time in Milwaukee. They took a bus to the Bradley Center after
spending Tuesday night in Chicago and flew out after the game to New
York. Los Angeles plays the Nets on Saturday. … Artest said after
shootaround that Tiger Woods “still is” a role model for him and his
children. Artest wrote a post on his blog that was an open letter to
the superstar golfer to encourage him.
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