Lakers lose to Bucks 113-103, suffer setback in playoff chase

U.S. Sports Desk, Mar 29 (EFE).- Center Larry Sanders notched a double-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 113-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, casting doubt on the latter's bid to make the playoffs.

Sanders finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds on Thursday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee to more than hold his own against Lakers big man Dwight Howard, who registered 15 points and 15 boards.

The Bucks pulled away late, stretching their lead to 104-92 with just over four minutes remaining on a dunk by Marquis Daniels and cruising the rest of the way.

Point guard Brandon Jennings rebounded from a dreadful game on Wednesday night to score 20 points, including a fourth-quarter 3-pointer that gave Milwaukee the lead for good, and dish out seven assists.

In a 100-92 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, Jennings did not score a single point and was benched in the fourth quarter.

Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles in scoring on Thursday with 30 points but the Lakers, who have been wracked by injuries throughout a disappointing season, announced after the game that their star has a bone spur in his left foot.

Los Angeles came into the season with sky-high expectations after the offseason acquisitions of Howard, a three-time defensive player of the year, and point guard Steve Nash, a two-time league MVP.

The Lakers struggled out of the gate before hitting their stride between early February and mid-March, but they have sputtered again recently amid injury woes. Their record stands at just 37-36 and they are barely clinging to the eighth and last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Bucks are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have virtually assured themselves of a playoff berth, but will need to move up in the standings over the final three weeks of the regular season to avoid a first-round match up against LeBron James and the rest of the mighty Miami Heat.

In two other games Thursday night in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers routed the Dallas Mavericks 103-78 and the Sacramento Kings topped the Phoenix Suns 117-103.