Kobe Bryant scored 22 points, passed off six assists and sat for the duration of the fourth quarter, as the Los Angeles Lakers cruised past the Milwaukee Bucks to a 113-95 victory on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Bryant played efficient basketball, and the Lakers did not look anything like their record, which improved to 4-21 on the season after the game. Eight games on the road had resulted in seven losses, so playing back in the friendly confines of Staples Center and earning a comfortable victory felt even better for the oft beaten Lakers.
Seven Lakers scored in double figures, as LA played a balanced game that featured a season-high 26 assists on 41 field goals. The Lakers played good team basketball, shot the ball with efficiency and outplayed their opponents, which hasn't happened often this season. In truth, it really has not happened at all this season, not convincingly anyhow. The Lakers only had three wins in 24 games entering the night.
The Lakers led by as many as 22 points multiple times in the second half, which set a new high for the season. By the end of the game, the only drama came down to whether the Lakers would hold the Bucks under 100 points to guarantee that all the fans in attendance would get free tacos in accordance with a promotion with sponsor Jack in the Box.
Milwaukee finished with 95 points, so everyone got tacos and left happy.
Bryant, obviously, did not claim the victory alone. Rookie D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points off the bench to lead the reserves, while the 19-year-old also led the team with seven assists. Julius Randle continued to play off the bench, but the one-sided score line allowed the 21-year-old to stay on the court for the entirety of the final quarter. Randle would finish with 14 points and 14 rebounds in 25 minutes.