Without their starting center, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to stage a come-from-behind, 84-80 victory over a depleted Portland Trail Blazers squad at Staples Center. Andrew Bynum began serving his league-imposed two-game suspension tonight on a flagrant foul committed in Friday's game against Minnesota. It was the third straight win for the Lakers over Portland.
In the absence of Bynum, the Lakers relied heavily on Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. The duo combined for 30 points, 24 rebounds, and nine assists in 86 minutes. Kobe Bryant, battling a bevy of injuries, including a sprained left ankle, led the Lakers with 22 points, on 9-of-20 shooting.
The Lakers trailed 66-62 after three quarters, but outscored Portland by eight in the final period. Since the All-Star break, the Lakers are 12-1, and have held opponents to an average of 87.9 points per contest. They have allowed 100 points just once since the break, and have held opponents to under 90 points in eight of 13 games.
Nicolas Batum led the Blazers in scoring with 25 points. The Lakers are 3-0 this season against the Blazers, and have one more game scheduled with them, April 8 in Portland. The Lakers will play one more game without Bynum, on Tuesday against the Suns at Staples Center.
For more news and information on Andrew Bynum, the Lakers, or tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.