They can’t help themselves. Even when they’ve managed to put themselves in game’s good graces, they can’t help mucking it up. How else do you explain a 30-point second quarter followed by 14 points in the third? Or how the team managed to move ahead by 14 points, only to fall behind by eight in just a few possessions?

Despite missing Jordan Hill, who injured his quad in Sunday’s game against the Knicks, the Lakers still had more players available to play than the Bucks did, missing their key contributors Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova. They played a competitive first quarter, followed by a strong second quarter, and put themselves in a good place to win the game.

Milwaukee, however, was primed to challenge them. The Lakers regained the lead late in the fourth quarter, and with a 94-91 lead, had seven seconds exactly to defend a Bucks three. Predictably, seven seconds of defense is a lot to ask of this Laker team, and O.J. Mayo hit a three to force the overtime.

Overtime was all Bucks, 19-11 en route to a 113-105 victory.

What Went Right
Bench – Led by Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis, the Laker reserves had the most impact in tonight’s game for the team. They outscored Milwaukee’s bench 69-25. Boozer led the game with 28 points on 13-21 from the field, adding nine rebounds and four assists. Davis, despite a subpar shooting night, scored just seven points on 2-8, but led the game with 20 rebounds. It’s a testament to Davis’ work ethic. When one part of his game is not producing, he finds other ways to be effective. 20 boards also came with three assists and a block.
Second Quarter – After a close first quarter, Boozer went to work in the second. He scored 12 of his 28 points then, and as a team, the Lakers outshot the Bucks 57.9% to 38.69% from the field. They outscored the home team 30-20.

What Went Wrong
Second Half – The second half, in general, has been the Lakers’ Achilles heel all season long. It’s an unfortunate characteristic of the majority of their losses. Despite being a team with lower than low expectations, they’ve managed to start many games with the right attitude, efficiency on both ends and a promising outlook to the end result. Not every loss has been a blow-out. In fact, of their 36 losses, 22 have been decided by less than 10 points. The issue is their inability to sustain the efficient play and difficulty with responding to the opposing team’s half-time adjustments.

Next up for the Lakers: the also struggling Orlando Magic.

Box Score

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