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Bucks 113, Lakers 103

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Larry Sanders scored a career-high 21 points to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocked shots as the Bucks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 113-103 on Thursday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Milwaukee rode a fourth-quarter wave, breaking open a close game and snapping a four-game losing streak. Ersan Ilyasova and Monta Ellis each scored eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 and 18, respectively.

Kobe Bryant had 30 points to lead the Lakers, who have lost four of their last five.

Bryant scored eight straight points to close out the first quarter, giving the Lakers a 25-18 lead.

Pau Gasol's 3-foot hook shot put Los Angeles up by 11 with 4:51 left in the first half, but Milwaukee came back and Sanders' two free throws closed the gap to 56-53 at the half.

Los Angeles extended its lead in the third quarter and Milwaukee answered again, taking the lead on a Sanders dunk with 4:23 to play in the quarter. A Bryant jumper rimmed out and Brandon Jennings' underhand layup gave the Bucks a 72-69 lead.

Milwaukee moved ahead by five, thanks to a 13-2 run capped by another Sanders dunk to make it 76-71 with 2:55 left in the quarter. Sanders had eight of Milwaukee's points during the run and the Bucks took an 82-77 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Lakers led early in the fourth, going up by a point on Antwan Jamison's dunk with 10:18 to play. But the Bucks didn't back down and went ahead by as many as 12 on back-to-back dunks by Sanders and Marquis Daniels to make it 104-92 with 4:00 left.

Bryant made three free throws with 1:09 left to get Los Angeles within eight, but the Lakers couldn't pull closer and Milwaukee made three of four free throws in the final 33 seconds to close out the victory.

NOTES: Jennings was frustrated after being benched Wednesday in the third quarter of the Bucks' 100-92 loss at Philadelphia. Bucks coach Jim Boylan offered little response to Jennings' comments, saying, "We haven't talked about it ... it's time to play." ... Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni had no problem with the NBA's announcement Thursday that a foul should have been called on Bryant at the end of the Lakers-Timberwolves game Wednesday night. "Those are tough calls." D'Antoni said. "Referees kind of want you to determine the game. They should call a foul in theory, but they also want players to decide the game, so I can understand. It's good when you're on the good side and bad when you're on the bad side." ... Los Angeles has won seven of the past 10 meetings with Milwaukee. ... Both teams entered play Thursday as the eighth and final playoff team in their respective conferences.
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