That was the Ersan Ilyasova of recent years re-emerging Tuesday night at the Staples Center in the Milwaukee Bucks' 94-79 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ilyasova battled inside against Pau Gasol and the Lakers' big men and finished with 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards.

The Bucks forward looked more comfortable shooting the ball and went 7 of 15 while scoring 15 points.

And he scored perhaps the biggest basket of the game on a putback to make sure the Bucks closed out the Lakers in the final minutes.

"Obviously I was struggling with my ankle in the beginning but now I'm finally finding my rhythm," Ilyasova said. "The strength in my ankle is better.

"I was struggling with the shot but I've fixed that thing and have worked on it. I was out a lot of games but now I feel much stronger."

Ilyasova suffered a right ankle injury in the first preseason game in Cleveland on Oct. 8 and has not been right during the first two months of the season. He has missed 10 games due to injury and played in others while fighting through pain in the ankle.

He still is on a terrible three-point shooting streak, going 0 for his last 16 from beyond the arc. And he was 4 for 21 overall in the previous two games against Brooklyn and Minnesota.

But Ilyasova was 7 for 14 on two-pointers against the Lakers and played a key role in the victory as the Bucks opened a three-game western trip.

"It's important for any player on the team who is struggling shooting the basketball, you look to do other things that will help the ballclub," Bucks coach Larry Drew said.

"Ersan did that. He had some good looks and missed them, but I thought he came up with some very timely rebounds. It enabled us to get second opportunities and we were able to capitalize."

Every member of the Bucks starting frontcourt reached double figures in rebounds, with center Larry Sanders and rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo each grabbing 11. The Bucks starters collected 46, including eight by point guard Brandon Knight.