The final score looks closer than this game really was. This was a flat out blow out. The Lakers led by as many as 27 points in the second half.
Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles was so disgusted with his starting five, he lifted them about four minutes into the third quarter and played his reserves the rest of the night.
“My motivation is not in question,” Skiles said. “I’m not worried about my motivation. … We weren’t ready. We came off flat and didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half. We still had a game in front of us we possibly could’ve gotten, but we just rolled over. We went to the bench to see if we could get something there but we just couldn’t get it going.”
Richard Jefferson played just nine minutes, Michael Redd just 20. Asked why he played his two leading scorers so little, Skiles snapped: “Were you at the game? That whole starting unit came out in the third quarter, seemed disinterested, the other team got the lead so I’m going to give other guys an opportunity to see if they can get us back into it.”
Towards the end, the Bucks reserves did make a game of it, or at least made the score look more respectable, outscoring the Lakers 38-31 in the fourth quarter.
Afterwards, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said he was happy with the win, and the Lakers defensive pressure in the first three quarters.
Asked if if was the Lakers defense or the Bucks poor shooting, Bryant said, “It’s a little bit of both. I thought we did a better job defensively tonight and played a lot harder, executed a lot better and cut down on the mental mistakes tonight.”