Andrew Bynum surprised many last night:
Andrew Bynum, the one with the still-smarting knee and the curiously shaky game, played Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to a relative draw, more than enough to allow the Lakers to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals with ease, 100-75.
Bynum was averaging only 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in the playoffs before Thursday, but he had nine points and nine rebounds despite fighting foul trouble throughout the game.
He was aggressive from the start, dunking off a feed from Pau Gasol, making a 12-footer and scoring a layup off a rebound in the first four minutes.
He was part of the reason Howard shot so poorly -- one for six.
"He had some times out there that I thought he played [Howard] really well," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "Offensively, he had some opportunities that he converted on, which we like."
Howard had 12 points and 15 rebounds, though he played almost 35 minutes to only 22 for Bynum, who picked up his fourth foul 9:38 into the third quarter.
A year ago, Bynum was watching from the sidelines. Now Orlando is going to have to keep an eye on him.
"This was big for me, even though I'm not playing my best basketball," he said. "Just to be a part of it is way different from last year, when I had crutches and was having surgery." (Read entire story)