Lakers roll to in 18th victory over Bucks in 20 meetings

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Smush Parker says he knows Kobe Bryant creates
extra opportunities for him. Parker is creating some of his own.

Bryant scored 33 points and Parker had 20 points and seven
steals to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to their ninth straight win
over Milwaukee, 111-92 on Tuesday night.

"This is more than what I expected," Parker said. "But I'm
never satisfied. I'm playing well right now, and I want to continue
playing well."

Lamar Odom added 24 points and Chris Mihm had 13 as the Lakers
beat the Bucks for the 18th time in the last 20 meetings.

"Smush did a great job getting his hands on balls," Bryant
said. "We did a great job pressuring them."

Bryant went 14-of-24 from the field for his best shooting
percentage this season, a game after hitting just 9-of-30 in a
sluggish win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday. The Lakers shot
48 percent (43-of-89) on Tuesday night.

"Right now, we need to focus on who we are as a basketball
club," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before the game. "I don't
live with expectations, so there's nothing there I can say I
expected. We're just out here kind of treading water as a
basketball team right now. We're neither hot nor cold, neither fish
nor fowl."

Jackson said afterward the Lakers were still looking for
confidence, but Parker says has the solution.

"Wins," he said. "We've lost a lot of games we should've won.
Of course that deters our confidence a little bit. But these wins,
if they keep coming, we'll get more confident."

Michael Redd scored 21 points for Milwaukee, which had its
three-game winning streak snapped.

"It was tough," Redd said. "It was like pick your poison."

Parker, who has 20 points or more in three of his last four
games, scored 16 in the first quarter, and let his defense carry
him the rest of the way.

"He kind of set the tone," Bucks guard Mo Williams said.
"This league is all about opportunities, and now he's got his
opportunity. ... You see the results."

Parker hit two buckets in a row to give the Lakers a 76-61 lead
midway through the third quarter and the Lakers stretched the lead
to as many as 19 in the fourth.

"We've blown like five 15- or 16-point leads," Bryant said.
"Especially being a young team, we tried to execute and play every
play and things went well for us."

Los Angeles squandered double-digit leads in two of their most
three recent games before beginning this six-game, nine-day road

T.J. Ford, who finished with 16 points, tipped in a miss and
followed with a dunk to cut the lead to 97-82 midway through the
fourth, but Milwaukee never got within 10 in the game's final 20
minutes and only led early in the first quarter.

In one first-half sequence, Bryant grabbed an offensive board
and Odom snagged two in the same possession before finding Parker
streaking down the lane for a one-handed dunk.

A few minutes later, Parker stripped Andrew Bogut and fed Odom,
who was fouled and completed a three-point play.

"You develop some hands growing up in New York City, and I was
fortunate to get seven steals," Parker said.

Then Parker hit a 3-pointer and completed a three-point play
during a 16-4 run that gave the Lakers an early double-digit lead.

Milwaukee, which failed to win a fourth straight game for the
second time this season, chipped away, and Jackson implored his
Lakers to play better as Toni Kukoc hit a 3-pointer to cut the
Lakers lead to two.

Jackson loudly cursed at his players during a timeout in an
attempt to keep them focused.

It worked.

Los Angeles sprinted back out to a 61-49 lead, capped by Luke
Walton's behind the back pass to Parker, who flipped it to Bryant
for an easy dunk.

Williams, who scored 11 of his 14 points down the stretch in the
second quarter, hit a running one-hander to make it 61-51 at the

Game notes
Bryant needs three assists to tie Gail Goodrich for eighth
on the Lakers' all-time list at 2,863. ... The last time the Bucks
won four in a row was in April last season. ... Jackson isn't sure
when Kwame Brown (hamstring) will return, but conceded he wouldn't
be back within the two-week period first announced. ... Bucks F Joe
Smith had surgery to relieve nagging pain in his left knee and will
miss six to eight weeks.


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