Lakers guard Kobe Bryant talks to Coach Mike Brown during a game against… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
Reporting from Oklahoma City — Another question rocketed to the top of an ever-shaky season for the Lakers.
Is Kobe Bryant fatigued?
He is averaging 38.2 minutes a game, third-highest in the NBA, and it might have caught up to him the last two games.
He made only seven of 24 shots Thursday in the Lakers' 100-85 loss to Oklahoma City. He made only five of 15 the previous night in a 96-91 victory over Dallas.
Bryant trails only Minnesota forward Kevin Love (39.9 minutes a game) and Orlando center Dwight Howard (38.3 minutes).
"We all looked a little fatigued in the second half [Thursday], not just Kobe," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.
Bryant said he didn't feel tired.
"Maybe some guys did," he said. "I felt fine."
Bad omen: The Lakers are 20-14 and debating whether they're already fatigued at the All-Star break.
Andrew Bynum wasn't even looking forward to his first All-Star game.
"No, not really," he said. "I'm just looking forward to the rest."
Bynum will miss practice Saturday for the Western Conference All-Stars because of a previously scheduled appointment with his longtime knee specialist, David Altchek.
Bynum will receive a "Synvisc" injection in his right knee, part of what the Lakers called a routine procedure to lubricate joints in the knee.
A website for Synvisc said an injection typically cushioned a joint and provided up to six months of osteoarthritis relief.
The All-Star game is Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Bryant will also be there too, for the 14th time.
At least one Lakers player didn't seem to have a problem with logging 38 minutes against Oklahoma City.
Pau Gasol had 22 points on nine-for-14 shooting. He also had nine rebounds, though he committed four turnovers.
"I didn't feel more fatigued than any other night," he said. "I was ready to go, ready to be aggressive and ready to play well."
They got it
After further review, the NBA assessed Dallas center Brendan Haywood a flagrant two foul after he clocked Gasol in the final minute of Wednesday's game.
The decision meant that "unnecessary and excessive contact" took place, though it did not carry a suspension.
"From my definition of a flagrant…I think the refs missed that," Brown said. "I don't know how anybody could think [Haywood] was going for the ball. I think he was trying to foul Pau. He might be able to join Shaq in the WWF '[Royal] Rumble 25' or something like that."