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The Credits: "Cry Baby"

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Last night, the Lakers played an injury-depleted Warriors team doing everything in their power to tank this season. The Lakers almost helped them miss that goal, but in the end won a close game, 104-101, thanks in large part to huge games from Matt Barnes, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, and clutch shots from Kobe Bryant in the last 90 seconds. The name missing from that list is Andrew Bynum. Why? Because Andrew wasn't there. Yes, he played 23 minutes, scored 11 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, but when it counted, he was on the bench, sulking.

Bynum was benched after he took an ill-advised 3-pointer with 16 seconds on the shot clock early in the third quarter. Mike Brown pulled him immediately and put in Josh McRoberts. By the time Andrew came back in, he had already mentally checked out of the game. While the shot itself should not have been taken, it is not the real issue. The aftermath is where all the heat is. Andrew decided he didn't care to play any more. When he was put back into the game, he was lackadaisical at best, shooting a free throw with a "so what" attitude even remarked upon by Stu Lantz, the Lakers' long-time color man. The real issue is Bynum's maturity, particularly his assertion that he will continue to take 3-point shots even if his coach doesn't want him to.

"I'm good," Bynum said. "I guess it's 'Don't take threes'’ is the message, but I'm going to take another one and I'm going to take some more, so I just hope it's not the same result. Hopefully, I make it."

While Kobe sees something of himself in Andrew, he has been "praised" for his handling of being "benched" in Sunday's game against the Grizzlies. Bynum, on the other hand, will rightly be scorned for his attitude. What happens going forward is anybody's guess.

Overlooked in last night's game: Kobe passed Michael Jordan for second all time single team scoring. He now sits behind Karl Malone. Congratulations Kobe. We won a milestone game!

Around the league, the Clippers say Vinny Del Negro isn't going anywhere (neither are Blake Griffin or Chris Paul--EVAR!); Amar'e Stoudemire is out indefinitely; Lamar Odom seems on the verge of a breakdown; David Stern says this has been a "surprising good season"; and Sasha Vujacic has left town for good.

Something else big happened yesterday, but I can't remember what it is. Oh yeah, that's right, MAGIC JOHNSON BOUGHT THE DODGERS--WOOOOOT!!!

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Orange County Register

ProBasketballTalk/SLAMonline

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