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Andrew Bynum's joint jumpin' in Game 2

Don't call his knee bum. After a little drainage and some time to rest, the Lakers center is one happy highlight of the Game 2 loss to the Celtics.

June 08, 2010|By Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times

Wounded knee, you say? What wounded knee?

One of the most unexpected developments for the Lakers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals was coaxing 39 minutes out of center Andrew Bynum and his ailing right knee on Sunday night at Staples Center.

Pleasant development No. 2: Bynum equaled his career-playoff high of 21 points in the loss to the Celtics, adding six rebounds and seven blocked shots.

Bynum had his knee drained on Monday and took full advantage of a break in the playoff schedule between games with more-than-adequate time to rest and rehab the knee.

"Well, he had two days between games," said Lakers Coach Phil Jackson. "I thought he recovered really well off of some of the swelling that he had on that knee. Trainers were able to get that down and back in order, and he was able to play."

Jackson added that Bynum's physical condition was as good as "he could possibly be this time of the year. I was just pleased that he could play 35-minutes plus. That was a big part of that effort that he gave us tonight."

It might look as though his efforts were for naught.

But that's not entirely accurate.

Certainly, Bynum's teammate Pau Gasol did not think that was the case. Gasol had another stellar performance, leading the Lakers with 25 points. He added eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

"I think our effort was a positive thing in our production," Gasol said, speaking of himself and Bynum. "We didn't win the ballgame. But our effort was good, and it's going to have to be even better … in Boston because it's going to be tougher to play there."

Bynum, who was six for 10 from the field and nine for 12 from the free-throw line, was asked if he and Gasol got enough touches down low late in the game.

"Obviously, we can get more touches," he said. "But that's still not going to help us beat this team because you can't beat them on on one. … We have to create more movement and more motion to create confusion, and that's what we did during Game 1.

"They were sitting down there looking at each other, but today we were the ones looking around at each other."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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