Earl Boykins scored 22 points off the bench and John Salmons added 20 as the Milwaukee Bucks caught the Los Angeles Lakers off guard in a 98-79 victory on Tuesday.
Ersan Ilyasova had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Andrew Bogut chipped in 15 and eight for the Bucks, who snapped a three-game slide.
Home after a seven-game road trip and looking forward to a Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, the Lakers came out sluggish against a struggling Milwaukee squad. The Bucks showed more energy right from the tip when Bogut glided through the lane for easy baskets on the first two possessions.
Again without injured star point guard Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee maintained a small lead throughout the contest before expanding it in the fourth quarter as the long trip may have shown its effects on Los Angeles.
The Lakers were within 77-72 after Pau Gasol’s basket with 7:47 left, but the Bucks clamped down and held them without a point for nearly four minutes as they stretched the lead to 85-72 with under four minutes to play. The 5-5 Boykins scored 10 points in the final seven minutes.
Kobe Bryant scored 21 points before being ejected for arguing with officials with 2:07 left and the Lakers trailing by 15 points. Los Angeles was held to its lowest total of the season.