Magic center Dwight Howard, who finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds,… (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated…)
Reporting from Orlando, Fla. — For the most part Sunday, Lakers center Andrew Bynum held his own against Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard.
Bynum finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, and he blocked one of Howard's shots.
Howard finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots.
"For the most part, I thought I did a pretty good job," Bynum said. "He made some tough shots underneath. But the stuff we could eliminate was the stuff going to the rim, lobs. We've got to get to his body. They ask the 'bigs' to show out [on defense]. You can't be afraid to touch the guy."
Bynum had a scary moment with 9 minutes 13 seconds left after he bumped knees with Howard.
It was Bynum's left knee, the one on which he suffered a bone bruise that forced him to sit out a game.
Bynum continued to play, however.
"It was quick. The pain went away," Bynum said. "I put ice on it and I feel good."
In the first half, Bynum and Howard were nearly even statistically. Bynum had 11 points and seven rebounds. Howard had nine points and five rebounds.
But Howard took off in the second half.
Still, the feeling in the Lakers' locker room was that Bynum stood tall.
"I thought that he played well," Kobe Bryant said. "He had some good looks in the paint that he finished. He made a couple of moves there where he was able to kind of get Dwight off of his body [and] finish over the top. We all got a little worried there when he was limping, but it turned out he just bumped knees. But I felt he did very well."
Staying in touch
While the team has been in the midst of its seven-game trip, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said he has been exchanging text messages with Matt Barnes, checking in on the injured forward's rehabilitation.
"He's the only player I've really ever texted with," Jackson said, "but it's something that I can kind of stay in touch with Matt while we're on the road."
Barnes has been out since Jan. 11 after having right knee surgery.
Jackson said he hopes Barnes can practice "on some basis" after the All-Star break.
"It may not be a full scrimmage yet, but we hope he can practice," Jackson said. "He's on the court doing some shooting now."
Lantz fills in
Stu Lantz, the Lakers' color commentator for television, filled in Sunday on the radio beside Spero Dedes because radio color commentator Mychal Thompson attended senior day Saturday for his son Mychel, who plays basketball at Pepperdine.
Thompson will rejoin the Lakers in Charlotte, N.C., for the game against the Bobcats. ABC had exclusive TV rights to Sunday's game.