SAN ANTONIO (AP) Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 30 rebounds, the most in an NBA game this season, and the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t need Kobe Bryant to blow out the San Antonio Spurs 98-84 Wednesday night.
Metta World Peace scored 26 points and the Lakers, playing their third straight game without the injured Bryant, manhandled the Spurs underneath to hand the West’s second-place team one of their most embarrassing losses this season.
Bryant is sitting out to heal his sore left shin. There remains no timetable on when the NBA’s leading scorer might return.
Bynum’s dominating night surpassed the previous NBA season-high of 25 rebounds, set twice by Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova. He also becomes the 5th Lakers to ever have 30 rebounds by joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor and George Mikan.
Danny Green led the Spurs with 22 points.
Pau Gasol added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who are now 2-1 without Bryant. Two nights after barely squeaking past lowly New Orleans, the Lakers played far livelier this time without their superstar.
World Peace scored a season-high while shooting 10 of 15 from the field, including 5 of 8 from behind the 3-point arc.
Los Angeles has seven games left and are in third place in the West, 4 1/2 games behind the Spurs for second place. San Antonio remained just a game out of first despite the loss since Oklahoma City also lost Wednesday night.
After winning 11 in a row, the Spurs have now lost consecutive games for the first time since January. Falling in Utah on Monday night was hardly shocking: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili didn’t even make the trip that night in coach Gregg Popovich’s pursuit to keep his stars fresh as possible for the playoffs.
But the Big Three were back for the Lakers, and few saw this coming – especially with Bryant sidelined in a suit.
Parker and Ginobili might as well have taken another night off. Parker scored four on 2 of 12 shooting and Ginobili scored 9. Duncan had 14 points and just two rebounds.
So unstoppable was Bynum under the basket that by the end of the third quarter, the 7-footer already had matched Howard and Ilyasova for the season’s single-game mark. Bynum tapped missed shots to himself with ease over the undersized Spurs frontcourt, and nearly single-handedly outrebounded the entire Spurs lineup combined.
San Antonio finished with 32 rebounds. It’s the second time the Spurs have been beaten up on the boards: One of Howard’s 25-rebound nights was also against San Antonio.
NOTES: Spurs G Gary Neal (gastroenteritis) did not play. … Ginobili surpassed 10,000 career points, joining Duncan, Parker, David Robinson and George Gervin as the only other players in Spurs history to reach the milestone.