for this game

Clippers no match for Bynum, Lakers

Jan 22, 2009 - 7:03 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Andrew Bynum poured in a career-high 42 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-97 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Bynum hit 17-of-24 shots from the field, recording 25 points and 10 rebounds by halftime for the Lakers, who scored 36 of their 55 first-half points in the paint.

"It feels really good to go out there and play the way I did," Bynum said. "I was able to get a lot of easy buckets. Lamar (Odom) was looking for me, so was Kobe (Bryant)."

The Lakers' domination in the lane was no surprise as the Clippers are without big men Marcus Camby (sprained left ankle), Zach Randolph (sore left knee) and Chris Kaman (strained left arch). Starting point guard Baron Davis is also out with a bruised tailbone.

"The big difference in this game was their size," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We couldn't get it taken care of inside. Our guys did keep coming back, though."

The Lakers had beaten the Clippers by 38 and 18 points in the previous two meetings, but the Clippers showed life in the first quarter, rallying back from an early eight-point deficit.

"We did not play a great game," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who was named the coach of the Western Conference for the All-Star Game after his team improved to 33-8 and clinched at least a tie for the best win percentage in the first half.

"I mean Andrew played well. I thought Lamar played a fine game, but we did not play good defensively."

Rookie Eric Gordon's 3-pointer tied the game 25-25 with 30 seconds remaining in the opening quarter and Mardy Collins' jumper gave them the lead with a second left.

The Clippers extended the lead to six points in the second quarter and held the advantage until 5:31 remaining in the half when Bryant drained a 3-pointer.

Bryant recorded his 16th career triple double, finishing with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. The reigning MVP hit only 5-of-15 shots from the floor as he continues to be hampered by a dislocated ring finger on his shooting hand suffered in the first quarter of Monday's 105-88 win over Cleveland.

The Lakers extended their lead in the third, going on a 9-3 run to open the quarter and pushed the bulge to 15 points by the end of the session.

"We wanted to get the ball inside," said Odom, who finished with a season-high 19 points off the bench. "Andrew of course has talent and he is going to get better. This is one of those games everyone gets to see it."

The Lakers were held scoreless for 6:55 during the fourth quarter as the Clippers narrowed the deficit to 102-95 with 2:10 left to play.

Following a timeout by the Lakers, Bryant drained a running jumper to seal the victory.

Rookie center DeAndre Jordan scored a career-high 23 points and added 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost 14 of their last 15 games and seven in a row to the Lakers.

"Things were coming to me, like the ball was landing in my hands," said Jordan, who was 11-of-12 from the field. "I just tried to dunk it as much as I could. A lot of things were easy for me tonight. I think the last time I had 10 dunks in a game was high school."