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Bynum, Kobe too much for Clippers

KOBE Bryant got his second triple-double in three games, but teammate Andrew Bynum stole the show.

Bynum scored a career-high 42 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 108-97 win over the Clippers on Wednesday night.

"It feels very good, to go out there and play the way I did," the 21-year-old center said. "I was able to get a lot of easy buckets. Kobe was Kobe Nash out there tonight.

"The ball was coming my way a lot. I was able to just get a lot of touches and get comfortable."

Bynum became the first Lakers player other than Bryant to reach 40 points since Shaquille O'Neal scored 48 against Boston on March 21, 2003. Bynum shot 17-of-24 from the floor and added 15 rebounds and four blocked shots.

"I didn't know how many (points) I had, and that's just the truth," he said. "The fans were yelling for me to get 40. And then once I got the dunk, everybody was on their feet cheering."

In other National Basketball Association games, it was: Cavaliers 104, Trail Blazers 98; Rockets 108, Jazz 99; Celtics 98, Heat 83; Knicks 114, Suns 109; Pistons 95, Raptors 76; Bucks 133, Mavericks 99; Hornets 102, Nets 92; Wizards 110, Kings 107; Bobcats 101, Grizzlies 86; and Thunder 122, Warriors 121.

Bynum may have said he wasn't aware of his total, but Bryant certainly was, making several pointed efforts to get his center the ball. With Bryant consistently feeding Bynum down the stretch, the Clippers cut a 16-point lead to seven - but that's as close as they would get.

"There's nothing wrong with that," Bryant said with a smile.

The Lakers improved to a Western Conference-best 33-8 at the halfway point of the season and earned Phil Jackson an All-Star coaching spot for the February 15 showcase in Phoenix.

It's the fourth time Jackson has been an All-Star coach and first since 2000.

Bryant, playing in pain two days after dislocating his right ring finger, had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his 16th career triple-double. He hadn't had one since April 1, 2005, before accomplishing the feat last Friday in a 103-109 loss to Orlando.

Bryant has 45 assists in his last four games - the best four-game stretch of his career.

In Portland, Oregon, LeBron James had 34 points and 14 assists and Mo Williams added a season-high 33 points, including a career-high six three-pointers, for Cleveland.

Brandon Roy had 23 points for Portland, and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 21.

In Houston, Yao Ming had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Rafer Alston scored 23 in Houston's sixth win in seven games.

Von Wafer added 21 points, including a pivotal 3-pointer in the closing minutes, and Luis Scola had 19 points for the Rockets.

Deron Williams had 32 points and 11 assists and Ronnie Brewer scored 23 for the Jazz.


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