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Andrew Bynum puts on a road show for Lakers

Center has 37 points and 16 rebounds as L.A. rallies to defeat Grizzlies in double overtime, 116-111.

March 13, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan

Reporting from Memphis, Tenn.

It took an extra 10 minutes, an eternity in this never-draw-a-breath season, but the Lakers finally improved their road record.

They got tired of the suddenly unstoppable Marreese Speights and did something about it.

They countered with some force of their own, splashed in a little finesse, and beat the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies in double overtime, 116-111, Tuesday at FedEx Forum.

Andrew Bynum had the type of game that sends whispers around the league, scoring 37 points on 15-for-18 shooting and also taking 16 rebounds, all against fellow All-Star center Marc Gasol.

Kobe Bryant had 34 points in almost 52 minutes, the most time he'd logged in four years.

The Lakers came back from a huge deficit, not the other way for once, ignoring a 72-55 Memphis lead in the third quarter and eventually winning.

The improved to 26-16 overall, 8-14 on the road, a muddy roost for them all season. They felt a little more firm in third place in the Western Conference and also moved two games ahead of the Clippers in the Pacific Division.

The Lakers apparently caught a break when Rudy Gay didn't play because of a mild concussion, but the Grizzlies (24-17) outworked them a majority of the game, led by the unlikely trio of Speights (25 points), Tony Allen (18 points) and Quincy Pondexter (12 points).

It could have been awkward, though, when Pau Gasol went to the family room deep inside the arena to go see his brother, Marc, after the game.

"I'm not going to talk about Andrew's game" with my brother, he said.

Marc Gasol was a reserve center for the same All-Star team on which Bynum started. He had 20 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday but made only 10 of 25 shots.

Bynum was solid on both ends.

"Huge game by Andrew, for sure," Pau Gasol said. "He's got great rhythm right now. I think he's just got to continue to keep his energy and intensity and aggressiveness high at all times. With his size and strength, he's very hard to stop. When he gets deep position, makes himself big, he rolls hard to the rim, it's a difficult cover for anybody."

Bynum had six dunks and six layups. He obviously didn't feel limited after sustaining a bruised knee two days earlier against Boston.

"They're trusting me now," Bynum said of his teammates. "They're just looking to give me the ball."

The Grizzlies had a chance to win in regulation, but Mike Conley missed a three-point attempt with 0.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers had a chance in the first overtime, but Bryant's 16-footer barely grazed the front of the rim with one second left.

In the second overtime, Bryant's four-footer put the Lakers ahead for good, 110-109, with 1:47 left. Bynum left his right hand in the air after making the second of two free-throw attempts to put the Lakers up, 116-111, with 22.4 seconds left.

"You have to make free throws because then people can't foul you," said Bynum, who made seven of eight from the line.

Speights was unbelievably effective against the Lakers through three quarters, scoring 21 points. He had only four the rest of the way.

The Lakers play in New Orleans on Wednesday, presumably an easy victory against the West's worst team.

But Lakers followers remember what happened in Washington last week. Something about a 21-point lead turning into a loss.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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