Jeff Gross / Getty Images

Kwame Brown went after an offensive board and, with Fisher’s left arm caught up in his right, tried to untangle himself from his former teammate by pulling away. The slow-mo caught Fisher’s face after Brown pulled on his left arm – it was a look of pain. The Lakers took a timeout and Fisher headed to the locker room. He was done for the night. On the Bobcats’ possession after that timeout, D.J. Agustin drove to the basket and let a floater fly, but it was blocked and knocked against the backboard with a thump hard ‘round the arena.

Dear Bobcats. That was for Derek Fisher. Love, Andrew Bynum.

With their big man, Gerald Wallace, in Portland, the Charlotte Bobcats are not the same team that defeated this Lakers team a few weeks ago. Kwame Brown? He had 6 points, 7 rebounds. Bynum was THE MAN out there for the Lakers. Nine points on 3-4, 3-4 from the free throw line, 17 rebounds, 6 blocks, 1 steal and zero fouls. He was the menace that Charlotte may have scouted for on offense, but had no plan for what he did to them on the defensive end. Bynum ate up every rebound there was to have, and he contested the shots of whoever was shooting around him. Agustin will have nightmares about this man tonight. From the quick smaller guards, to the big men in the paint, Bynum could’ve cared less who was taking the shot. If they were within his reach, he’d contest their attempt, and the difference he made on the court was crystal clear as soon as he stepped off the floor.

Bynum grabbed his 17th rebound of the game to end the third quarter and left Pau Gasol to finish the fourth. If it wasn’t already evident before, it was evident tonight. Gasol is no Bynum on defense, especially of late. Gasol had a productive offensive game, going 8-14 for his 20 points, got his double-double with 10 rebounds and he also had two blocks. Gasol’s defense, however, is typically on an as-needed basis, and with this, the intensity of the Laker defense waned with him in place of Bynum on the court. The Lakers’ work on the glass in the first three quarters also went south in the fourth quarter when they were outrebounded 13-8. If the Lakers are going to find any success on the upcoming road trip, the defense from the two seven-footers must look like that of two SEVEN-FOOTERS.

Other than Gasol and Bynum, the Lakers’ shooting wasn’t particularly sharp tonight. Kobe Bryant led the way with 27 points, but it took him 25 shots to get there. Lamar Odom had another double-double, with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and he also had four assists.

It wasn’t the beatdown that it could have been, but at least they won. With a 17-point lead halfway through the third quarter, it appeared the Lakers were on their way to exacting revenge on the team who has had their number the last five some years, but they didn’t sustain their defense and this almost got away from them.

The upcoming road trip should be a good one, with stops in San Antonio and Dallas, two teams that Lakers are trying to overtake in the Western Conference standings. They’ll also be stopping in Miami, so let’s just call this the “revenge tour.” This short stint away from Staples Center will be one of the defending champs’ greatest tests. Let’s see if they’re up for the challenge.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts: It’s payback time – Charlotte beat the Lakers by 20 on Valentine’s Day and the Lakers…well, they just need to get over this Bobcat domination hump.
Half-time Thoughts: 35-45 – The Lakers closed the first quarter with a 23-9 run and shot 52% in the first 12 minutes. They closed the half, however, shooting just 39%, but held Charlotte to 34% shooting. Kobe Bryant leads all scores with 16 points but needed 17 shots to get there. Andrew Bynum only has four points, but he’s already pulled 13 rebounds. If the Lakers want to open this game up, they need to maintain their defensive aggressiveness and more ball movement
Most Thoughtless Play(s)/Player(s) of the Game: Reserve backcourt – The Matt Barnes letdown was bad enough, but Steve Blake and Shannon Brown combined for 11 points on just 4-15 from the field. The Lakers bench has got to be more dependable, even without the temporary presence of Matt Barnes.
Most Thought-filled Play(s)/Player(s) of the Game: Andrew Bynum – 9 points, 17 rebounds, 6 blocks and ZERO fouls. WOW.

  • Lakers all the way

    Now this is the team I envisioned after the All-Star Break. Let’s go get the Spurs and the Heat!
    .
    I hope Fisher’s arm is okay since his shooting arm was bent by Kwame. These injuries can affect a player’s shooting touch for a while. Scary.

  • 123kid

    whats the news on fish and barnes? f*ckin kwame brown. i was hopin fish would of came back and knocked him on his @$$ like he did scola. that should of been a tech right there.

    • Lakers all the way

      Yeah, Kwame should have received at least a Technical if not a Flagrant foul. That was way after the play was over, no need for physicality there.

  • bbz62

    i was listening to the weekend warrior show on am 710 and heard dr. clapper say that barnes no show wasn’t that serious since he didn’t re-injur the knee. just a nerve while he was stretching pregame. he should be fine.

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    Maybe fish’s injury is a blessing in disguise. Now they might start brown or blake. Either way it’s a faster back court.

  • fingerpointin

    Monster game for Andrew,guards (kobe too) need to work on their outside shooting,or pass the ball inside.

    • LakerMarc

      yeah no joke Blake couldn’t pay for a shot to go in. Fish….hope you’re alright! NICE game ‘Drew. Excellent overall games Lakers…..now the real hard ones begin. I seriously need to see the Spurs and the Heat and the Mavs go down to the Lakers esp. this late in the season.

  • lakers

    i really hope we can beat the spurs!

  • 123kid

    i loved the way drew played. super active on both ends of the floor. i hope he brings that same intensity tomorrow and gets a few blocks over tony parker. and have really liked how ron has been playing too. i mean not quite the best basketball yet, but hes showing signs of getting ready for the playoffs.

  • Tyler

    I was pleasantly surprised to see them win, especially with all the bobcat trouble they’ve had. I hope D-Fish injury isn’t too serious, but it could force PJ to start Blake/Brown who could keep up with the faster guards. I like how they are responding to the Pre-ASG troubles, but we have SA, DAL, MIA, And POR in the next 2 weeks. If we can beat these four and continue this great play for the rest of the season, then the lake-show’s gonna three peat for sure. Portland could be tough, be they can do it.

    Lets go Lakers

  • ZK

    Best wishes to Fish. That was an ugly play by Kwame. The jerk actually went over Fish’s back, and should have been called for a loose ball foul before it got to that point, but not with BILL SPOONER there. He was even worse than Leon the Laker Hater Wood.

    Spooner tried to turn two calls mede by the other zebras over and give the ball to the Bobcats, aside from all the biased calls he made against the Lakers.

    Great game by Drew. He challanged every shot, and caused numerous misses in addition to his six blocks. However, the rest of the team has to rebound the misses caused by his defensive effort. Lamar and the rest have to bother and get those rebounds, instead of letting the opposion get the offensive rebounds. It happened too many times last night.

    I imagine they will show more of an effort in that area now that we are getting near the end.

  • http://www.jackyang.info Jack

    Hope Fish was alright after that.

  • Short Dog