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 Bynum scores 42 as Lakers beat Clippers 108-97

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PostSubject: Bynum scores 42 as Lakers beat Clippers 108-97   Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:27 pm

LOS ANGELES(AP) Andrew Bynum wore a broad grin as he sat in front of his locker.Little wonder, because he had just finished playing the game of his life.Bynum
scored a career-high 42 points, Kobe Bryant had his second
triple-double in three games and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the
Clippers 108-97 Wednesday night."If feels very good, to go out
there and play the way I did,'' the 21-year-old center said. "I was
able to get a lot of easy buckets. Kobe was Kobe Nash out there
tonight. The ball was coming my way a lot. I was able to just get a lot
of touches and get comfortable.''Bynum became the first Lakers
player to reach 40 points other than Bryant since Shaquille O'Neal
scored 48 against Boston on March 21, 2003. Bynum shot 17-of-24 from
the floor and 8-of-11 from the foul line, and added 15 rebounds and
four blocked shots."I didn't know how many (points) I had, and
that's just the truth,'' he said. "The fans were yelling for me to get
40. And then once I got the dunk, everybody was on their feet
cheering.''Bynum referred to a dunk off an assist from Bryant with 57.5 seconds left. He got another dunk before the buzzer.While
Bynum said he wasn't aware of his point total, Bryant certainly was,
making several pointed efforts to get his young center the ball as time
wound down. While that was going on, the Clippers cut a 16-point Lakers
lead to seven, but that's as close as they got."There's nothing wrong with that,'' Bryant said with a smile.Regarding
Bynum, Bryant said: "The more you play, the better you get. He's going
to continue to progress. It's great for him. I was more pleased to see
how he controlled the lane.''The Lakers raised their record to a
Western Conference-best 33-8 record at the halfway point of the season
and earned Phil Jackson an All-Star coaching spot. He'll lead the West
All-Stars on Feb. 15 in Phoenix. It's the fourth time Jackson has been
an All-Star coach and first since 2000.Bryant, playing in pain
two days after dislocating his right ring finger, had 18 points, 10
rebounds and 12 assists for his 16th career triple-double. He hadn't
had one since April 1, 2005, before accomplishing the feat last Friday
night in a 109-103 loss to Orlando.Bryant has 45 assists in his last four games - the most in any four-game stretch in his career."We're
in a good rhythm of how teams are playing against me, how they're
matching up against me,'' he said, adding his finger felt a lot better
in this game than it did Monday night, when he was injured two minutes
into a 105-88 victory over Cleveland.Lamar Odom had 19 points
and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have won their last seven games
against the Clippers by an average of 24.4 points.Rookie DeAndre
Jordan, making his second career start, had career-high totals of 23
points and 12 rebounds for the injury-ravaged Clippers (9-32), who have
lost 14 of 15. Al Thornton added 20 points and rookie Eric Gordon had
16 points and six assists."I was certainly pleased with our
effort again,'' Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Our guys played
their hearts out and did a lot of really good things out there. I
thought we moved the ball nicely. But the big difference in the game
was their size against us - 17 offensive rebounds for 34 points.''The
Clippers played without their four best players - guard Baron Davis
(bruised tailbone) and big men Chris Kaman (strained left arch), Zach
Randolph (sore left knee) and Marcus Camby (sprained left ankle).That
left the seldom-used Jordan, journeyman Brian Skinner and second-year
player Thornton as the starters up front, and they were no match for
the Lakers' big men - especially Bynum."He is a great player,''
Jordan said. "He is big. When he gets in the paint he takes up a lot of
space. He uses his arms really well and makes you get over him.''Said Bynum of Jordan: "I don't think I picked on him. I think he was picking on us, the way he was dunking the ball out there.''Bynum
surpassed his previous career high of 28 points with a dunk 2 1/2
minutes into the third quarter, giving the Lakers a 65-56 lead, and
added seven points during a 21-11 run to finish the third quarter,
putting the Lakers on top 88-73. They led by as many as 18 before the
Clippers made a game of it, only to fall short.Bynum shot
11-of-14 for 25 points and had 10 rebounds in the first half, which
ended with the Lakers on top by just three points despite shooting 50
percent and committing only five turnovers. Jordan already had a
career-high 12 points at that stage for the Clippers, who shot 56.1
percent in the opening 24 minutes.The Lakers finished shooting 50 percent to 48.7 percent for the Clippers, and won the rebounding battle 46-26.Notes:
The Lakers have an 89-25 record against the Clippers since they moved
from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984. ... The Lakers entered with an
NBA-leading 107.6-point scoring average, while the Clippers were
averaging 93 points to rank next-to-last, ahead of only Charlotte
(91.2). ... Starting Lakers F Luke Walton returned to action after
missing nine games because of an injured right foot and scored 11
points. ... Jackson said he hoped G Jordan Farmar, who missed his 16th
game because of an injured left knee, would be able to practice later
this week and return to action next Tuesday night against Charlotte or
early in a six-game road trip that begins three days later at
Minnesota.

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