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Lakers get it going with 118-101 win over Golden State in exhibition

Andrew Bynum stands out for the Lakers with 24 points.

October 08, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

As if teams don't have enough problems with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest, the Lakers reminded opponents what else might await them this season.

Andrew Bynum -- remember him? -- had 24 points in the Lakers' 118-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors in an exhibition opener Wednesday at the Honda Center.

He played on the second team in a scrimmage last Saturday but rewarded Phil Jackson's decision to start him Wednesday with 20 points in the first half and four dunks as he ripped through the Warriors' undersized front line.

It's a safe bet he'll start the season at center despite an unremarkable effort in the Lakers' playoff run last season.

" 'Drew will start," Jackson said. "I think that's important for him and I think it's important for us to get that big front out there that makes teams have to take a double look."

Bynum's first attempt was blocked, but he took the rebound and converted a three-point play after being fouled on a layup.

Then his first-half highlight show began.

He dunked off a feed from Gasol. Then a dunk from Odom. A short bank from the left side. A layup. A dunk off Jordan Farmar's feed.

Bynum even created points away from the ball, spinning off rookie Shaun Pruitt and dunking an alley-oop pass from Artest.

It bears repeating that Bynum did this against one of the league's softest defenses, but it was an obvious improvement from the 6.3 points he averaged in last season's playoffs, when he never quite recovered from a torn knee ligament suffered in January.

He still wears a brace on his right knee, though it's a lighter version of what he wore last season.

"I've got my legs back underneath me," Bynum said. "I don't get tired. Feelin' good. I came back in shape."

Bynum made eight of 13 shots and eight of nine free throws.

Downtown Brown

The play of the game went to reserve guard Shannon Brown, whose soaring dunk over Warriors center Mikki Moore left the crowd buzzing for several minutes.

Brown went coast to coast with the ball before taking off and beating the 7-foot Moore to the basket. Brown, 6 feet 4, landed on his behind, clapped a few times and was yanked up off the court by Bynum.

"I just tried to go up as high as I could, tried to stretch it as far as I could, and it all worked out," said Brown, who finished with 11 points in his effort to secure the backup spot at ballhandling guard.

Farmar, who is also looking to be Derek Fisher's backup, had 11 points as well.

Artest's debut

Artest was a triple-double threat in his first action with the Lakers, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 23 minutes.

Artest had a lot of open looks, a likely sign of things to come when opponents double-team Bryant or Gasol.

"It's going to be a fun year," Artest said.

Quick hits

Reserve center DJ Mbenga did not play against Golden State because of a hip flexor. He practiced Tuesday and went through shoot-around Wednesday, but the injury flared up afterward. . . . Warriors guard Monta Ellis left the game in the first quarter after spraining his left ankle when he landed on a cameraman under the basket. Ellis could have returned if necessary, a Warriors spokesman said. . . . Former Lakers guard Sun Yue was waived by the New York Knicks. He did not appear in any exhibition games.


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