O.J. Mayo, Nick Young

Lakers guard Nick Young pulls up for a shot against Bucks guard O.J. Mayo in the first half. (Paul Buck / EPA / December 31, 2013)

The Lakers aren't tanking but injuries are getting the job done.

Facing the worst team (by record) in the NBA, the Lakers fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 94-79, on Tuesday night, welcoming the New Year with a thud.

Brandon Knight scored a career-high 37 points, including 18 in the third quarter.

The Lakers started the game by missing 11 shots in a row. A late fourth-quarter run wasn't enough to make up a deficit that had grown to 22 points in the third quarter.

Nick Young and Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 25 points each.  Gasol returned from bronchitis and a sinus infection but managed to play 37 minutes.

Kobe Bryant (knee), Steve Blake (elbow), Steve Nash (back), Xavier Henry (knee) and Wesley Johnson (gastroenteritis) all sat out against the Bucks.

Jordan Farmar also left with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter with tightness in his recently healed hamstring after playing 20 minutes, missing all five of his shot attempts. He'll be examined via ultrasound on Wednesday.

Recent signee Kendall Marshall had 10 points and seven assists in 28 minutes, the only other Laker in double figures.

Milwaukee shot 44.0% from the field.  Ersan Ilyasova scored 15 and Luke Ridnour 11.

The Lakers shot just 35.8% from the field, struggling to hit shots for most of the night starting with a dreadful first quarter at 23.8%.

John Henson didn't play for the Bucks with a sprained ankle.

The Lakers (13-19) host the Utah Jazz (10-24) on Friday but the Bucks (7-24) will travel to Utah first to play the Jazz on Thursday.

Bucks 74, Lakers 60 (end of third quarter)

Brandon Knight scored 18 points in the third quarter, helping the Bucks extend the lead to 22 points before the Lakers closed the gap to 14 with a late run.

Knight has scored 33 points in 29 minutes on 15-of-22 shooting as the Bucks shot 47.1% from the field.

Nick Young is leading the Lakers with 19 points while  Pau Gasol has contributed 17. The Lakers are shooting only 36.4% from the field.

Ersan Ilyasova was Knight's only teammate in double figures with 10 points.

Earlier in the season the Lakers had one of the highest scoring benches in the NBA.  Injuries have decimated the team's depth, though.

Bucks 42, Lakers 33 (halftime)

The Lakers were better in the second quarter, marginally, outscoring the Bucks by two points.