Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bynum Helped Lakers Defeat Miami

Andrew Bynum scored a season-high 24 points including a go-ahead follow shot with 18.5 seconds remaining and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 108-105 to become the first Western Conference team to reach 30 victories.

Both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have below-par shooting night in their second meeting against the Heat this season. Bryant went 5-of-14 from the field for 19 points with 7 assists. Gasol missed 11 of his 15 shots for just 14 points but grabbed 18 rebounds to match his career high.

Vladimir Radmanovic added a season-high 18 points while Derek Fisher had 13 points and a season-high 11 assists. Sasha Vujacic added 10 points off-the-bench.

Bryant's sub-par performance on offense was probably affected by his work at the defensive end, where he guarded Dwyane Wade. Bryant showed that he is one of the best on-ball defenders in the game in his match up with Wade.

Wade scored 27 points--more than half while Bryant is sitting on the bench--and had nine assists.

Bryant limited Wade to just six points in the opening quarter and just seven points the next three quarters. In the second quarter, Wade scored seven points in less than a minute while Bryant was on the bench. Bryant came back in and held Wade to two more points until halftime.

Wade also made a mini-spree in the fourth quarter with another minute-long seven-point outburst while Bryant is on the bench. Once Bryant returned, Wade didn't score again in the final seven minutes.

The two bumped heads when Bryant reached in to knock the ball away from a driving Wade late in the fourth quarter. Bryant needed four stitches to close a cut over his right eye while Wade also had a gash on his head. It was indicative of just how intense this matchup was.

Michael Beasley scored 23 points, Daequan Cook contributed 17 off-the-bench, and Shawn Marion had 12 points and 8 rebounds in the Heat's fourth straight loss to the Lakers at the Staples Center.


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