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Lakers 110, Bucks 105: Recap

The Bucks battled for three quarters but the Lakers took over early in the fourth to win 110-105.

Three Bucks

  • Mike Redd. After riding the bike in the first quarter, Redd played 25 minutes and contributed a tidy 22 points and four assists on 10/17 fg. He didn't seem to have much rust and got into the paint pretty easily a number of times. He also led the Bucks with a +9. Will he come off the bench again tomorrow night?
  • Mo Williams. He led the Bucks with 28 points and six assists including 10/21 fg and 7/8 ft in 44 minutes. Starting at shooting guard, he's continuing to get to the line and make a good percentage on a heavy volume. Still, he had shown significant improvement in his playmaking early in the season, and with the Bucks having asked him to take on more of a scoring role in Redd's absence you wonder how easily he'll be able to adapt into whatever role he'll be asked to do next.
  • Andrew Bogut. Bogut finished with 14/11 in addition to five assists and two blocks, but he had just four in the second half and was clearly outplayed by Andrew Bynum.

Three Numbers

  • 12.5%. Bobby Simmons' field goal percentage (1/8 fg). After some encouraging play of late, Simmons couldn't find his shot tonight.
  • 17. The number of Laker offensive rebounds, eight more than the Bucks'. Bynum had six of those, helping the Lakers overcome an average shooting night (.458 vs. Bucks' 477). The Lakers also made more threes (10 to 6) and attempted twice as many free throws (24/36 vs. 15/18).
  • 37. Bryant's game high 37 points came on a night when he was supposed to be sick with bronchitis, but a trio of early three pointers suggested he was feeling just fine. He finished 12/25 from the field, 5/9 from deep and 8/8 from the line in addition to five rebounds and seven assists.

Three Good

  • A loss, but not a total loss. The Bucks were pretty competitive for most of the night, falling behind by double-digits early in the fourth before making it look closer than it was with a late flurry. The game ended on an amusing note when the Bucks' fouling allowed them to get the ball back enough to score 100 points, thus denying Lakers fans free tacos. Hey, it's the small victories in life that can be the sweetest. Still, it was important for the team to bring a good effort given some of their performances against good competition have been, uh, dubious. Doesn't get any easier with the Suns up next.
  • Guarded optimism. Mo continued his offensive binge while Redd looked pretty comfortable in his reserve role. Still, we didn't get much of a chance to see how the Bucks would react to having Redd back in crunch time because the Lakers ran away at the beginning of the fourth.
  • Yi's OK in Hollywood. Returning to the town he spent a few months training in before the draft last summer, Yi Jianlian had an on and off night, but he finished strong with a pair of nice fadeaway jumpers in the lane off drives. That's basically the shot he'll need to get going if he's going to become a go-to scorer, since right now he doesn't really create shots. He also hit a three in the final 30 seconds, pumping up his statline a bit to 13/6 on 6/11 fg. He also helped hold Lamar Odom to only 8 points on 2/7 fg.

Three Bad

  • Best Bynum. Too bad we didn't pick eight spots lower in the '05 draft. No offense to Andrew Bogut, but Andrew Bynum is a beast and might eventually eclipse even Chris Paul and Deron Williams. He did whatever he wanted down low, racking up 25/17 on 10/13 fg in addition to three blocks. He gets great position down low for short push shots, is active on the offensive boards (six off rebounds) and alley-oops anything close to the rim. Aside from Dwight Howard, is there any big man the Lakers would be willing to trade Bynum for? I say no. Sorry Greg Oden.
  • Bryant vs. Bell. I got especially annoyed with Charlie Bell in the early fourth quarter. He wasn't paying attention when Bryant fumbled an alley-oop early in the quarter, made a bad pass on the other end, and fouled Bryant on a three pointer for good measure. Guarding Kobe is hard enough as is without mental lapses.
  • The schedule. Tomorrow in Phoenix, Monday in Utah, so it doesn't get much easier.