Lakers Vs. Wizards: The Return Of Andrew Bynum

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers could get some help inside tonight, as center Andrew Bynum is expected to make his season debut against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center. The Lakers went 17-7 in 24 games without Bynum, who is back after undergoing offseason knee surgery. Bynum needed a meniscus injury in his right knee repaired and sustained the blow in Game 6 of the Lakers' first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City last season.

Bynum played in 65 regular-season games for Los Angeles last season, posting a career-high 15.0 points with 8.3 boards per game, and helped the storied franchise to its second straight NBA title. LA is 2-1 on a seven-game road trip and recorded its fourth win in five tries with Sunday's 99-92 triumph in New Jersey. Kobe Bryant scored a game-best 32 points and handed out six assists, while Lamar Odom ended with 22 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who are 7-5 as the visitor this season. Pau Gasol had a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards in the win.

"Well, tonight we did a good job," Bryant said. "We spaced it out and we got the ball in isolation, we didn't have guys stand around and watch. We did a much better job of that and as of late we've been losing games because we're not doing that. It's a good win for us." Derek Fisher chipped in 10 points in the win. Fisher has played in 437 straight regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, the longest consecutive games streak among all active NBA players.

The Lakers will also visit the Pacers, Sixers and Raptors on the trek. Washington will try to put the brakes on a four-game losing streak when it takes on the mighty Lakers tonight. It is coming off Friday's 101-95 setback versus the New York Knicks in which Gilbert Arenas recorded 20 points to lead the way. Arenas is averaging 19.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds during the last 15 games.

Nick Young scored 17 points, while Andray Blatche returned from a two-game absence to post 16 points in defeat. Blatche, however, will miss tonight's game because of a swollen left knee. "We came out flat in the third quarter, those first two minutes," Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. "They came out and knocked down four shots. All of a sudden they got a three-point lead. It got their crowd into our game and we couldn't sustain and get anything."

Rookie John Wall posted eight points, six assists and five rebounds for Washington, which has dropped eight of nine games. He is still bothered by knee and foot issues and is listed as questionable for this evening's contest.

Los Angeles defeated the Wizards, 115-108, on Dec. 7 this season at Staples Center and has won eight straight in this series. The Lakers are unbeaten in their last four trips to DC and had a chance to meet with President Obama on Monday. Obama congratulated LA on winning its second straight title.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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