Sun. Final: Lakers 105, Bucks 92
Next game: Tuesday, December 10th at Phoenix
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant had 20 points and a season-high eight assists, Derek Fisher added 19 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Milwaukee 105-92 on Sunday, improving their record to 17-2 and equaling the best 19-game start in the franchise's 61-year history.
The Lakers also started the 1985-86 season 17-2. This was the sixth time the team has won 17 of its first 20 games, including the championship seasons of 1971-72 and 2001-02.
All the Lakers' starters scored in double digits, something none of the Bucks' starters did.
Bryant shot 6-for-13, sitting out the final 4 minutes of the third quarter after getting treated for a cut just above his left wrist. He started the fourth and was removed with 7:41 to play and the Lakers up by 19.
Andrew Bynum, who had a career-high 17 rebounds against the Bucks last Jan. 11, grabbed 14 boards and scored 14 points. Pau Gasol had 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Joe Alexander had a team-high 15 points for the Bucks, who have lost 15 of their last 17 against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Beleaguered coach Scott Skiles got only 18 points from his staring lineup, and the team shot a collective 38 percent from the field. Milwaukee has shot under 50 percent from the field in all 22 games this season.
Richard Jefferson, who averaged 22.2 points over his previous six games, scored three during a foul-plagued 9 minutes. He went to the bench after picking up his second foul with 6:36 left in the first quarter, then got his third with 9:22 left in the second quarter -- just 40 seconds after reporting in. His fourth came with 8:39 left in the third and Milwaukee trailing by 21.
Compounding the Bucks' woes was the loss of forward Malik Allen, who left for good with 8:36 left in the first quarter because of a rib injury. It occurred when he lost his balance trying to knock down a pass near the Lakers' basket and crashed to the floor.
The Bucks missed their first seven shots. Shooting guard Michael Redd missed his first four and was 1-for-6 with two points in 20 minutes. He averaged 24.0 points in the two meetings with the Lakers last season, and had a 45-point outing against them at Staples Center two seasons ago.
Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut, playing his third game after missing the previous three with a bruised left knee, had nine rebounds, six points and five assists.
Los Angeles never trailed, increasing a 12-point halftime lead to 16-4 run capped by Gasol's layup with 8:08 left in the third quarter. The Bucks never seriously challenged after that.
Notes:The Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers are the only teams to use the same starting lineup in every game so far, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Last season, due to injuries and the acquisition of Gasol, the Lakers used 16 different lineups -- with only Bryant and Fisher starting every game. ... No one has scored more than 25 points for the Bucks in any of their last 12 games, and only three times this season has one of their players had more than 25. ... The only player to score 30 or more points against Milwaukee this season is LeBron James, who had 41 on Nov. 11 and 32 on Nov. 29. ... Phil Jackson is seven wins away from becoming the sixth coach in NBA history with at least 1,000 regular-season victories. His .703 regular-season winning percentage is the best in league history. ... The Bucks are 2-12 against teams with won-lost records of .500 or better on the day they played them, and 6-0 against clubs with losing records. ... The Lakers are 13-0 when allowing fewer than 100 points.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)