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Foul trouble derails Lakers' Andrew Bynum

The center, who has been slowed by an upper respiratory infection, thinks he's in a 'bit of a funk.'

December 21, 2009|By Mike Bresnahan

Reporting from East Rutherford, N.J. — Andrew Bynum was 45 minutes from his hometown, but miles away from having an effective game.

The Lakers' 22-year-old center continued a stretch of frayed efforts, getting undone by foul trouble in the Lakers' 103-84 victory Saturday over the New Jersey Nets.

He had four points and three rebounds in 11 minutes before fouling out with 8:24 to play. It was the third consecutive game in which he took only three rebounds.

He has been slowed by an upper respiratory infection, but he wasn't happy with the way things went down so close to Plainsboro, N.J., where he was living when the Lakers made him the 10th pick in the 2005 draft.

"I think I'm in a little bit of a funk and I'm going to have to pull myself out of it," said Bynum, who attended Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph High. "I've just got to keep playing, just go. It's a part of the season."

Bynum was limited to five minutes in the first half because of three fouls. He then picked up his fourth foul with 9:25 left in the third quarter and walked slowly back to the bench.

He reentered the game to start the fourth quarter but picked up his fifth foul 54 seconds later. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson didn't seem to care at that point, the Lakers comfortably ahead by 13. Bynum stayed in the game, only to foul out with 8:24 to play.

"He didn't get to play," Jackson said. "He just didn't get any rhythm. Every time he went out there, it was two or three minutes at a time."

Jackson placed blame on Bynum, not the referees, though he also seemed to jab Nets guard Devin Harris.

"Harris is very deceptive and he'll run into a guy and fall back. I think 'Drew got two or three fouls on that alone," Jackson said.

No road warriors

The Lakers' last four games have been on the road, but they still have the NBA's most unbalanced schedule: 17 home games and eight road games.

Said Pau Gasol: "I'd rather have a balanced schedule more than being at home for so long, which I enjoy and I like obviously, but then it's going to catch up to us later on."

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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