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Lakers top Bucks for eighth straight time

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Brian Cook carried the Los Angeles Lakers on a
night when Kobe Bryant's shot deserted him after the first quarter.

Cook, the Lakers' top pick in the 2003 draft, came off the bench
to score a career-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and
Bryant added 20 points despite being held without a field goal for
the final three quarters of a 95-90 victory over Milwaukee on
Tuesday night.

While the Bucks shut down Bryant, they had no answer for Cook's
range and accuracy.

"That's a sign of a good team," Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich
said. "It doesn't always have to be the same guy who is stepping
up."

Cook was 10-for-14 from the floor and only missed one
three-point attempt.

"He was amazing," Tomjanovich added. "I knew the guy was a
good shooter, but I didn't know he was going to be a 3-shooter. He
shoots it so easy. He's got one of the quickest releases in the
league. It's just effortless."

Cook also grabbed seven of the team's 13 offensive rebounds. He
finished with a career-high 11 boards.

The Lakers, who led by 14 points early in the game, had 18
second-chance points to the Bucks' five.

Desmond Mason had 32 points, including 14 in the third quarter.
His layup pulled Milwaukee to 69-68 with 41.4 seconds left in the
third.

The lead changed for the eighth and last time when Cook
connected for a 3-pointer on an assist from Bryant to make it 89-86
with 1:35 to play.

"I'm just going to take whatever the defense gives me," Bryant
said after shooting 4-of-13 from the floor. "With this team, it's
really easy to do. I have all the confidence in the world they are
going to knock those shots down."

After Bryant had a three-point play with 46.4 seconds left in
the first quarter, he missed his last eight shots. But Bryant had
11 assists and seven rebounds and was 10-of-12 from the line,
including five in the fourth quarter.

Lamar Odom added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Atkins added 13
as the Lakers beat the Bucks for the second time in seven days and
the eighth straight time overall.

"A few turnovers, some missed rotations for some guys, Cook
knocking down 3s down the stretch -- those are the things in the
last few minutes of the game that cost us," Mason said.

Maurice Williams added 21 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds
and Keith Van Horn had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who
were looking for their first victory over the Lakers since March
21, 2001.

The Bucks were hoping to build upon their victory against
Detroit on Saturday night that snapped a six-game losing streak.

Game notes
Bryant turned the ball over just four times. He had 23
turnovers in his previous four games, including seven against New
Orleans on Sunday. ... Bucks F Joe Smith missed his second
consecutive game with a left hip strain. C Daniel Santiago, who is
out seven to 10 days after scratching his cornea in practice
Monday, and Smith will not travel to Boston for Wednesday's game
against the Celtics. ... F Zendon Hamilton was activated by the
Bucks before the game after missing the first 11 games with a right
knee injury.