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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bynum Injured But Lakers Still Beat Grizzlies 115-98

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum left the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter Saturday night with a sprained right knee. Despite that, the Lakers still beat the Grizzlies 115-98 extending Memphis losing streak to 12 games.

Kobe Bryant scored 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting, dished out seven assists, and had three steals. Pau Gasol had 24 points and eight rebounds. Derek Fisher had a very efficient shooting night making 6-of-7 including 2-of-3 beyond the 3-point line for 14 points.

Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively off-the-bench.

Bynum's injury occurred at about the 7-minute mark of the first quarter under the Lakers’ basket. Kobe Bryant drove to the basket, missed the shot and crashed into Bynum’s right leg. Bynum immediately grabbed his knee.

The two were on the ground under their basket as the Grizzlies went to the other end. After Los Angeles gained possession, they called time out. Bynum, who scored 7 points and blocked a shot, was helped to the locker room with Los Angeles leading 13-11.

Last season, Bynum sustained a brief dislocation of his left kneecap in mid-January. He sat out the rest of the season, eventually undergoing surgery in May. Bynum was on a roll coming into Saturday, averaging 26.2 points, 14 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots over his last five games.

The Lakers trailed the Grizzlies at halftime, 61-55, but unleashed a 36-point third quarter and never trailed again after taking a 91-82 lead into the fourth. Lakers reserves, led by Odom, played excellent defense to start the fourth quarter making a 9-0 run in the first six minutes of the quarter.

The Lakers held Memphis to 37 second-half points in pulling out the victory.

Rudy Gay had 23 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley and Pau Gasol's younger brother, Marc, both had 13 points for Memphis.

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