Kobe Bryant did not play his finest game on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored a game-high 30 points, but he also posted the lowest plus-minus (-16) of any player and matched his made field goal total (6) with turnovers (6). The Lakers star scored 15 points in the first hald on 4-9 shooting, but he shot 2-8 from the field down the stretch as L.A. blew a 13-point lead and lost 113-103 to the Bucks.
After the game Kobe did not speak to reporters and it was announced that he has a bone spur in his left foot. Meanwhile, Pau Gasol and Mike D'Antoni had some thoughts about Kobe's offensive approach in the second half of the game (via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register):
Pau acknowledged ball-stopping offense, saying the ball needs to switch sides of the floor: "Sometimes we have to go away from Kobe."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 29, 2013
D'Antoni didn't mention his star guard by name, but his message was equally clear:
"Just play the game. We try to go a little bit too much one-on-one."
"[We] were doing some good stuff -- moving the ball, running up and down, and the defense was pretty good. They probably missed some shots, but we got the rebounds. Then for whatever reason, we quit moving the ball. We took contested shots and we missed."
C.A. Clark at Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll also singled out Kobe after the loss the Bucks for some questionable decisions on the offensive end:
This was not Kobe Bryant's finest game. He shot terribly from the field, and that fact was not particularly surprising based on the shots that he took; plenty of contested fades where he failed to create the space to make the shot worth taking. There were also at least two stationary, contested three point launches that weren't necessary, and six turnovers as well. It wasn't all bad, mind you. He did get to the line a stunning 20 times, and ended up scoring 30 points, so he wasn't at his inefficient worst. But he did settle for the wrong play a little too often on a night in which everybody else on the court was doing a fairly decent job of putting the ball in the basket. You look at the shooting of Kobe's fellow stars (6-8 for Dwight, 5-7 for Nash, 6-12 for Pau) and wonder why the ball couldn't be sent in their direction a few more times.
The Lakers currently sit just a half-game ahead of the Jazz for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings, and their loss on Thursday night marked the 15th-straight time they've failed to win both games of a back-to-back set this season.