Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Tuesday, November 27th
Bucks85Final
Lakers104
Game 2: Tuesday, February 26th
Lakers99Final
Bucks89

Bucks 85

(9-2, 4-1 away)

Lakers 104

(13-1, 9-0 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, November 27, 2001

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 28 21 22 1485
    LAL 21 26 27 30104

    Top Performers

    Mil: S. Cassell 23 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    LAL: K. Bryant 33 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Lakers never been better through 14 games

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A month into the season, the Lakers were waiting for their first major test. They passed it easily.

    Kobe Bryant had 33 points and eight rebounds Tuesday.

    Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-85 Tuesday night in a showdown of the teams with the NBA's two best records.

    "We didn't shoot the ball well, but we won by 19 and that should tell people something," said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 19 points but spent most of the game double-teamed and kicked the ball out to his teammates.

    The Lakers pulled away in the second half and improved to 9-0 at Staples Center, while the Bucks lost for the first time in five road games. Milwaukee came in with one loss.

    "They are the two-time defending champions, so the title definitely has to go through them," said Sam Cassell, who led the Bucks with 23 points.

    "It's too long of a schedule to highlight the schedule with one particular game. Sure, it was a game against probably the best team in basketball, but that doesn't make or break our season," he said.

    Besides being the only team in the league with one loss, the Lakers are off to their best-ever start after 14 games with a 13-1 record.

    "It says we're NBA champs," Bryant said. "Even though we're down by 15, we have confidence in ourselves that we can come back. We're going to keep on fighting."

    Samaki Walker grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who had a 57-36 rebounding edge, including a season-high 24 offensive boards.

    After beating up on Western Conference teams with losing records, the Lakers finally found a challenge against the East's top team. The Bucks led by 15 points in the first half before their run-and-gun shooting started missing.

    "They haven't had a (good) team to play in a while, and we've been struggling offensively," said Milwaukee's Ray Allen, who had 13 points. "We hadn't beaten any good teams, so this was a good challenge for us."

    The Lakers clung to a 74-71 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, but Bryant continued a hot shooting streak that began in the third period.

    He scored the Lakers' first seven points of the fourth for an 81-73 lead. Robert Horry tossed in a 3-pointer and the Lakers led by 11 with 9:25 remaining. Horry finished with 13 points.

    "We just had to make a statement because we didn't win a game against them last year," Horry said, recalling the Bucks' 2-0 sweep.

    The Bucks' shooting remained errant, while Allen and Thomas found foul trouble. Thomas picked up his fourth, and four minutes later, Allen got his fifth.

    Cassell scored the first six points of the third period to keep Milwaukee ahead 55-47. Then Bryant and O'Neal took over.

    Bryant dunked off a pass from O'Neal and hit a corner jumper to launch the Lakers' comeback. O'Neal scored five in a row to draw them within two.

    Rick Fox hit a 3-pointer, O'Neal blocked Ervin Johnson's shot and Bryant dunked at the other end to give the Lakers their first lead of the second half, 70-67, with 2:20 remaining.

    Thomas hit a 3-pointer to tie the game before Bryant hit a free throw and a 3-pointer with the shot clock down to 2 seconds for a 74-71 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

    The Lakers whittled a 15-point deficit down to two at halftime by outscoring the Bucks 21-8. Reserve Devean George energized the Lakers, racing in and dunking off a teammate's miss before Bryant hit a 3 to end the half down 49-47.

    Game notes
    The Lakers' 31 3-point attempts tied the franchise record. They made 10, including three by Bryant. ... The game marked the first regular-season meeting since C Greg Foster was traded to the Bucks and the Lakers acquired G Lindsey Hunter on June 28. Hunter scored five points and the shaven-head Foster had zero points in two minutes. ... Utah remains the only team to score 100 points or more against Los Angeles so far. ... The Bucks led at halftime for just the fifth time in 11 games this season. ... Los Angeles blocked a season-high 12 shots. ... Lakers' TV play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn received a standing ovation on his 85th birthday. ... The Lakers' biggest game of the season so far at Staples Center drew Tiger Woods, tennis player Lindsay Davenport, Pamela Anderson, Garry Shandling, Sly Stallone, Andy Garcia and Jack Nicholson.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIL
    LAL
    Points 85 104
    FGM-FGA 35-81 (.432) 37-90 (.411)
    3PM-3PA 5-18 (.278) 10-31 (.323)
    FTM-FTA 10-11 (.909) 20-31 (.645)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-36 24-57
    Assists 21 22
    Turnovers 12 10
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 1 12
    Fast Break Points 6 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (0/0) 16 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee
    Los Angeles
    Sam Cassell Cassell
    Points: 23
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 33
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1