Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Tuesday, November 4th
Lakers113Final
Bucks107
Game 2: Sunday, March 21st
Bucks103Final
OT
Lakers104

Lakers 113

(4-0, 2-0 away)

Bucks 107

(2-2, 1-1 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 4, 2003

BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 27 30 26 30113
MIL 18 36 32 21107

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 31 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Milwaukee: M. Redd 36 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Bryant, Payton, O'Neal key Laker surge

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- What feud? What boos? What balky knee?

Kobe Bryant said his rift with Shaquille O'Neal is history, he doesn't hear the jeers and his knee feels fine.

Want proof? How about 31 points in 40 minutes, including two crucial 3-pointers in the Los Angeles Lakers' 113-107 comeback victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

"He took some tough shots, he played well, he carried us in the fourth quarter," said O'Neal, who scored 23 points and agreed the pair's well-documented clash was over.

"Sometimes he's going to carry us. Sometimes I'm going to carry us. Sometimes Gary Payton or Karl Malone is going to carry us. He stepped up tonight."

In other NBA games Tuesday night, it was: San Antonio 80, Miami 73; Indiana 71, Denver 60; and Houston 86, New Jersey 75.

O'Neal and Bryant traded barbs in the last two weeks, both claiming this was their team. On Tuesday, they were ready to share it, particularly with Payton and Malone, who joined them for a shot at an elusive championship.

Bryant knew Payton would take the pressure off him by bringing the ball upcourt, but on this night he got a bonus: Payton also took the heat off him.

Fans angered that Payton's stint with the Bucks last season lasted all of 34 games booed him and Bryant every time they touched the ball.

Bryant, who anticipates harsh reactions at every road game because of his sexual assault case in Colorado, appreciated Payton's help on both accounts.

"Forty minutes this season is not like 40 minutes last season," Bryant said. "The game is so much easier playing with these guys out here. Last year, I was the push man. I had to give it up, then get it back.

"Now, all I have to do is run and have Gary find me."

He downplayed the booing.

"Once I step out on the court all I think about is the game," Bryant said.

At least somebody else shared the crowd's chagrin for a change, and Payton was glad to help him out.

"Give it all to me," Payton said. "It'll go in one ear and out the other."

The Lakers overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to improve to 4-0.

The Bucks got a career-high 36 points from Michael Redd, but Milwaukee was outscored 24-10 over the final seven minutes with Bryant scoring nine of those points.

"Well, we won that game probably on experience alone," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

Bucks coach Terry Porter wouldn't blame youth, though.

"I don't know if it's experience or just not making plays. If we had made four or five plays, I don't know if experience would have had anything to do with it," Porter said.

Payton expects boos on Jan. 3 and April 2 in Seattle, where he played 12{ seasons before the blockbuster trade for Ray Allen sent him to Milwaukee for the last half of last season.

That was enough for the Bradley Center crowd to feel spurned, and they razzed Payton and Bryant with equal vigor before turning their jeers into cheers when Redd scored 18 third-quarter point and the Bucks took an 85-75 lead.

With Bryant catching his breath on the bench, his replacement, Kareem Rush, sank a 3-pointer to pull the Lakers to 86-83 entering the fourth quarter.

Even with Bryant back in, the Bucks surged ahead 97-89 and had a chance to clamp down on Los Angeles when Tim Thomas pulled up for a 3-pointer without running down the clock.

Big mistake.

He missed, and the Lakers' comeback was on.

Bryant sank a 3-pointer with 3:31 left to cut the Lakers' deficit to 101-98. Another 3 by Bryant with 90 seconds left put the Lakers ahead 103-101, their first lead since 64-63.

They wouldn't trail again, and Bryant's jumper with 30 seconds left iced it at 108-103.< ^Spurs 80, Heat 73=

At San Antonio, Malik Rose had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the patchwork Spurs past winless Miami.

The defending champion Spurs were without injured Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, and suspended coach Gregg Popovich.

Ginobili led San Antonio with 15 points, Rasho Nesterovic added 14 points and reserve Kevin Willis had 13.

Eddie Jones led Miami with 26 points.< ^Pacers 71, Nuggets 60=

At Indianapolis, Jermaine O'Neal had 25 points and 20 rebounds, for Indiana in the ninth-lowest scoring game since the NBA instituted the shot clock in 1954-55.

Ron Artest and Al Harrington bottled up Denver rookie Carmelo Anthony, and the Nuggets shot just 29 percent and committed 23 turnovers. Anthony scored two points on 1-of-13 shooting.

Artest had 18 points and six rebounds.< ^Rockets 86, Nets 75=

At East Rutherford, N.J., Steve Francis led Houston's game-ending 14-1 run with eight straight points and an assist.

Francis finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Rockets' third win in four games under former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy. Cuttino Mobley led Houston with 20 points.

Richard Jefferson had 21 points for the Nets. Jason Kidd had 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LAL
MIL
Points 113 107
FGM-FGA 40-87 (.460) 36-90 (.400)
3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 9-19 (.474)
FTM-FTA 25-41 (.610) 26-30 (.867)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-48 17-52
Assists 25 22
Turnovers 10 12
Steals 7 8
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 6 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 26 (1/0)

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Milwaukee
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 31
Reb: 7
Ast: 8
Stl: 1
Blk: 2
Michael Redd Redd
Points: 36
Reb: 8
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0