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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lakers Routed Washington 117-97

Andrew Bynum played just 27 minutes but still had 23 points and 14 rebounds Thursday night in a 117-97 rout of the Washington Wizards, just 24 hours after he recorded a career-high 42 points and 15 boards against the Clippers.

"I'm happy for him. If Andrew can continue to have that type of presence in the middle -- no matter who the other team is -- we're going to be a much better team," Lakers point guard Derek Fisher said. "He seems to just be getting more comfortable on the court, physically. He came into the season off a serious knee surgery and really hadn't played basketball since last January."

"We went out there and moved the ball," Bynum said. "Everybody got shots. They were undermanned, and we were able to take advantage of them on the block."

Pau Gasol scored 18 points and Kobe Bryant had a quite night with just 11 points and five assists. Both of them played for less than 28 minutes as Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson kept their starters on the bench throughout the fourth quarter with the Lakers leading 97-68.

The Wizards fell to the Lakers for the fifth straight time. Los Angeles led 72-47 at halftime after outscoring the Wizards 15-5 over the final 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter.

"It's all about how the defense is playing us," Bryant said. "We went through a stretch where teams felt like they could double on Pau, but we made them pay. Now they're trying to do the same thing with Andrew, and we're making them pay again. Teams are trying new things defensively against us to see what works."

The Lakers improved to a conference-best 22-3 at home this season and have won 13 of 16 overall. The Wizards have lost five straight against the Lakers.

Antawn Jamison scored 19 points and Caron Butler had 12 points for the woeful Wizards, who have lost eight of their last 10 games and 18 of 23 overall. Backup center JaVale McGee had 18 points and nine rebounds while former Laker, Javaris Crittenton contributed 10 points off-the-bench.

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