Andrew Bynum pushed himself through a full Lakers practice Saturday, testing the torn cartilage in his right knee and discovering the knee still is debilitating but not enough to keep him from playing against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals.
Bynum hadn't practiced all week, getting treatment instead. When he finished Saturday's session with his teammates, Bynum described how his knee felt.
"It's sore," he said. "It's getting a little worse. But it hasn't been affecting me, so I'm going to keep pushing hard."
Bynum said swelling in the knee has become an issue.
He had been playing pain-free with a slight tear in that knee area that worsened when Bynum suffered a hyperextended knee in Game 6 of the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Bynum got through the first two semifinal games against the Utah Jazz last week OK with the knee. But he said the knee began to feel worse in "the third game or fourth game" against Utah.
The Lakers play the Suns in Game 1 Monday night at Staples Center, and Bynum said he'll be ready to start.
Bynum said he can't injure his knee any more structurally.
"It's creating more swelling because I'm playing on an injured knee," Bynum said. "It's something that I'm going to continue to treat, continue to try to pump the swelling out a little bit and take it from there."
Bynum said he doesn't plan on practicing Sunday, just getting more treatment.
That he got through Saturday's practice was a good sign for him.
"I had to get out there and test it," Bynum said. "I think I passed today, so I'm going to keep pushing forward."
Nash responds to Jackson
Lakers' Coach Phil Jackson zinged Phoenix guard Steve Nash on Friday, saying Nash carries the ball when he plays.
On Saturday, Nash retaliated, sort of.
"I've been in the league for 14 years," he said after practice in Phoenix. "I don't know if I've been called for carrying yet. It's news to me. I've never heard anyone complain about me carrying the ball."
Nash seemed to be getting a kick out of Jackson's comments, knowing he was being drawn into Jackson's game.
"I don't think I've fully made it until I've been drawn into a war of words with Phil," Nash joked. "Everybody knows what he's up to."
But then Nash threw a slight zinger back at Jackson when he referred to San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich as the NBA's top coach.
"The best coach in the league, Gregg Popovich, didn't have a problem with it last week," Nash said, referring to the Suns' 4-0 sweep of the Spurs.
Jackson smiled when told of Nash's comments.
"Pop's a great coach, there's no doubt," Jackson said.
Nash said he won't change how he handles the ball.
Turner reported from Los Angeles, Holmes from Phoenix.
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