NBA Basketball

Bucks outlast Lakers 131-120 for 8th straight win

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By BETH HARRIS

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) Eric Bledsoe began the day with a contract extension. He ended it leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their eighth consecutive victory and 10th in a row on the road.

Bledsoe scored 31 points, Malcolm Brogdon added 21 points, and the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 131-120 on Friday night.

"We've got a talented young team, we're growing together," said Bledsoe, who reportedly received a $70 million, four-year extension. "We compete for something bigger than ourselves. I just wanted to be part of it."

The NBA's best team had its hands full for much of the fourth quarter, when the game was tied six times over the final seven minutes.

"We've been doing it all season. Team's going to run, we keep our composure and make our run," Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe's basket tied it for the last time at 118-all. That launched a game-ending 15-2 run with all but four of the points scored by Bledsoe and Brogdon.

"Everybody talks about Giannis (Antetokounmpo)," LeBron James said, "but it's the supporting cast. They've surrounded Giannis with a great cast."

Antetokounmpo was held to 16 points - below his 27-point average - and 15 rebounds for Milwaukee.

"When the season started we knew we had something special and had a great team, but to be honest with you I never thought we'd have the best record in the NBA," he said. "We've worked hard for it, we've played every game, go out there, show up every game, try to win every game."

The Lakers got after the Bucks defensively for the first three quarters, but had three of their nine turnovers in the final five minutes, including two by Rajon Rondo.

"We had our chances," James said. "We broke down individually down the stretch defensively."

Brandon Ingram and James scored 31 points each. James had 10 assists. Rondo added 20 points.

James and Rondo combined to score 15 straight points during a stretch in the fourth that drew the Lakers to a 113-all tie. But Los Angeles scored just seven points the rest of the game.

"For some reason we kind of fell apart at the end," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "One thing we did a poor job of was defending Bledsoe and Brogdon. We couldn't keep them in front of us."

Ingram powered the Lakers to their largest lead of the game, 79-67, with eight of their first 14 points to open the third. He had a highlight one-handed dunk over 7-foot Brook Lopez that brought the Lakers' bench to its feet.

Ingram and James had 10 points each in the quarter.

From there, the Bucks closed on a 26-15 run, including nine by Bledsoe, to trail 94-93 going into the fourth.

"We were kind of on life support there for a lot of the first half, going into halftime and going into the third quarter," Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We caught a good wave there and Bled was a huge part of it."

The Lakers outscored the Bucks 15-9, with six by Kyle Kuzma, to end the first half leading 65-59.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Antetokounmpo played 32 minutes without restriction after sitting out with right knee soreness on Monday at Chicago and being limited to 24 minutes on Wednesday at Sacramento. ... They've won four in a row against LA. ... They improved their NBA-best marks to 48-14 overall and 23-9 on the road.

Lakers: G Lonzo Ball (bone bruise, sprained left ankle) will be re-evaluated in a week. He's missed 15 straight games since Jan. 19, when he was hurt in a collision with Houston's James Harden. ... G Lance Stephenson (second toe sprain on left foot) sat out, but was not to be missed on the bench in a cherry red jacket. ... They fell to 5-10 without Ball in the lineup. ... Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sat courtside, and former Lakers ironman A.C. Green attended.

ON A TEAR

Ingram has been on an offensive tear since the All-Star break ended, averaging 28.4 points in five games. That's much improved from his 17.9 average through the season's first 50 games. "He can shoot over anybody with his length," James said.

HE SAID IT

"We're aware of it. We don't try to harp on it too much." - Walton on being 3 1/2 games out of a playoff berth in the West.

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Utah on Saturday in the second game of a back-to-back.

Lakers: At Phoenix on Saturday in the second game of a back-to-back before returning home for three in a row.

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Updated March 2, 2019

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NCAA FB
NC State   12:00pm
Boston College  
Duke   3:30pm
Virginia  
North Carolina   3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
NHL
Carolina 2 F
Anaheim 4
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Pittsburgh 27 F
Syracuse 20
Ohio State 52 F
Northwestern 3
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Oklahoma State  
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Vanderbilt  
Arizona State   6:00pm
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Florida State   7:30pm
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Michigan   7:30pm
Penn State  
Tennessee   9:00pm
Alabama  
Boise State   10:15pm
BYU  
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American League
Houston 1 F
New York 4
New York   8:08pm
Houston  
Teams Score Time
Washington 112 F
Philadelphia 93
Toronto 123 F
Brooklyn 107
Houston 144 F
Miami 133
New Orleans 117 F
New York 116
Memphis 91 F
San Antonio 104
Los Angeles 103 F
Golden State 124
Teams Score Time
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Seattle  
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Chicago  
Philadelphia   Sun 8:20pm
Dallas  
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New York  
Teams Score Time
Colorado 5 F/OT
Florida 4
Dallas 2 F
Pittsburgh 4
New York 2 F
Washington 5
Columbus 2 F/OT
Chicago 3
Detroit 1 F
Edmonton 2
Carolina 2 F
Anaheim 4
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Montreal   3:00pm
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Boston   7:00pm
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Colorado   7:00pm
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Pos # Name Start Pos
1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
3 11 Denny Hamlin 40
4 10 Aric Almirola 5
5 34 Michael McDowell 22
6 3 Austin Dillon 20
7 32 Corey Lajoie 33
8 9 Chase Elliott 1
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 7
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Pos # Name Start Pos
1 00 Cole Custer 3
2 7 Justin Allgaier 8
3 22 Austin Cindric 2
4 11 Justin Haley 11
5 98 Chase Briscoe 1
6 1 Michael Annett 16
7 9 Noah Gragson 7
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 17
9 8 Zane Smith 10
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5