MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks are an awful team, clinging to the NBA's worst record week after week, month after month.
But they can always remember one thing about this season. They swept the Lakers.
It became official Thursday, 108-105, another loss for the Lakers that was only slightly better than their dismal one at home to the Bucks. On New Year's Eve. By 15.
Was it already mentioned that the Bucks are the worst team in the NBA?
This one took place in front of thousands of empty seats because the Wisconsin Badgers started a Sweet 16 game in Anaheim 15 minutes before tipoff here. The loudest ovation might have been when the scoreboard showed the final score of the Badgers' victory.
The Lakers (24-47) were actually somewhat close to their first three-game winning streak since November but lost when Nick Young's three-point attempt was blocked at the buzzer by Ekpe Udoh.
It wasn't a total loss for the Lakers at BMO Harris Bradley Center. They remained close to Utah and Boston for the league's fourth-worst record, which might mean something when the draft order is determined May 20.
Coach Mike D'Antoni even laughed about something afterward — reports that Marshall University contacted him about coaching its basketball team.
"I hear from them all the time," said D'Antoni, who played at Marshall and remains a big fundraiser for the university. "I'm close friends to them. Whatever they need, I try to do. Come on, guys."
D'Antoni has one more season on his Lakers contract for about $4 million.
At any rate, the Lakers didn't look like the team that scored a franchise-record 51 points in the third quarter Tuesday against New York. They committed 20 turnovers — five each by point guards Kendall Marshall and Kent Bazemore — and let the Bucks shoot 55.7%
Part of their strategy was actually detailed beforehand by D'Antoni.
"Brandon Knight, he killed us last time so we're going to have to definitely watch him," he said.
They watched him. That's about all they did.
Knight scored 30 points and added three assists for Milwaukee (14-58). His backcourt mate, former Lakers guard Ramon Sessions, had 22 points and five assists. They combined to make 17 of 31 shots. They're guards, not forwards or centers.
"We've got to alter shots, block shots. We've got to help our guards out as much as possible," said power forward Jordan Hill, one of few Lakers threats Thursday. He had 28 points and 16 rebounds.
For what it's worth, there was a discussion about the Lakers needing to lose more games to retain optimal lottery position. It happened before Thursday's tipoff. And it was reporters asking D'Antoni about it.
"We don't want to get into that. It's not fair for these guys to even think about that," D'Antoni said. "We're trying to win every game we can."
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak already said the team wouldn't want to manipulate its record because of karmic reasons.
D'Antoni agreed Thursday.
"I don't think you can anyway. It never works out the way you want it," the coach said. "So why not do the best job we can do and then wherever it falls, it falls."
They fell flat against Milwaukee.
Not that it was surprising. Even against the lowest of the NBA lows.
Twitter: @Mike_BresnahanCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times