When it was over, after Lakers center Andrew Bynum had played 28 minutes in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, the best news was how he was feeling.
He has been playing with torn cartridge in his right knee for more than a month, since Game 6 of the Western Conference first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Bynum had 2 1/2 ounces of fluid drained from his knee Monday, but the fluid returned about 12 hours later, causing his knee to swell up again.
But after he scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds, Bynum said "I'm not feeling too much more pain" after the Lakers' 102-89 victory over the Celtics Thursday night at Staples Center.
"It's motivating for me," Bynum said about playing through his injury. "I'm just going to keep going out there and playing as hard as I can, and whatever happens, happens."
Bynum hasn't been able to practice much since he was injured.
He played almost 20 minutes in the first half, knowing all the while that his condition wasn't the best.
"I'm a little bit gassed every now and then," Bynum said. "But it's the Finals, and I just fight through that."
Bynum didn't play in the 2008 NBA Finals because he had a left-knee injury.
He watched the Lakers lose the NBA championship to the Boston Celtics in six games.
Bynum wanted to play in the 2010 Finals, no matter what it took.
"It feels really good," Bynum said. "It's fun. It was super fun for us [Thursday] night. There was a lot of energy."
The Lakers outscored the Celtics in the paint, 48 to 30.
Bynum did his part by posting up hard.
"I just tried to be as aggressive as I can with the minutes that I'm given," Bynum said. "I'm just going out there and I'm just playing hard."
The Lakers and Celtics play Game 2 on Sunday.
That gives Bynum two days to rest and get treatment on his knee.
Bynum knows the swelling won't go away, but he plans on being ready.
"The swelling makes the tendon in the back hurt a little bit," Bynum said. "So tomorrow I'll get treatment and have that worked on. I'm going to get as much treatment as I can to keep the swelling down. But I think for the most part, I think I'm going to be all right."
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