Reporting from Indianapolis -- In his own, low-key way, Lakers center Andrew Bynum was critical of Coach Phil Jackson's substitution pattern in the fourth quarter of tonight's 118-117 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Bynum was with the second unit of Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza when they blitzed the Pacers with a 17-0 run to end the third quarter to give the Lakers a 15-point lead.
Bynum was with that group when they built the lead to 16 early in the fourth.
But after that reserve unit turned the ball over four times in the first 2:44 of the fourth, made one of three shots and saw a 104-88 lead cut to 104-96, Jackson pulled Odom, Farmar, Ariza and Vujacic and replaced them with the starters.
Bynum stayed in with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and Vladimir Radmanovic.
But Bynum still was taken aback that the reserves were yanked. He had found his groove with that group during their run, scoring six of his seven third-quarter points.
"The second unit played well, got a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter. We were all taken out with six minutes to go in game," Bynum said. "We didn't get any rebounds [after that]. I don't know what to say about that."
Bynum actually wasn't pulled until the 5:32 mark of the fourth.
He was asked why he was taken out of the game, considering how the Pacers out-rebounded the Lakers 50-41 overall and 19-8 on the offensive end.
"I don't know," Bynum said, who turned 21 at the end of October. "That's a question for Phil."
Jackson spoke first to the media immediately after the game. He had walked to the bus by the time Bynum and his teammates were asked to explain how they lost to a 7-10 Indiana team.
"I didn't like it at all the way we started the fourth quarter," Jackson said. "That's not the way you want to start the fourth quarter. They came out and fiddled it away. We were one for 11 on the first 11 possessions. You can't do that on the road. That gives more momentum to the home team."
Jackson was critical of his team's interior defense.
The Lakers gave up 44 points in the paint and 24 second-chance points.
Bynum admitted the Lakers were at fault for that happening.
But he still harped on Jackson pulling the second unit out of the game in the fourth quarter, a group Bynum had played well with.
"We didn't play well. I not saying say that," Bynum said. "But in the fourth quarter, the second unit put a nice run together and I think we all should have been rewarded by being able to stay out there on the court."
Gasol sat in his chair putting his socks on.
He glanced at the stat sheet on a chair in front of him and pointed to the rebound total.
He was dismayed by how the Pacers out-rebounded the Lakers, 17-7 in the fourth quarter, by how the Pacers collected six offensive rebounds in the fourth.
"We weren't active enough, smart enough to be able to box them out all the way out to the free-throw line," said Gasol, who had nine rebounds, which tied him for the team high with Bynum. "Those rebounds were long and they kept getting them. They out-hustled us pretty much in that fourth quarter and they got a lot of second-chance points."
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