Bynum returns, leads Lakers over Nuggets
LOS ANGELES — Andrew Bynum had 29 points and 13 rebounds in his season debut following a four-game suspension that carried over from the playoffs as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 92-89 Saturday.
Bynum shot 13 for 18, helping the Lakers win their third straight following the team’s first 0-2 start since 2002-03. The center was suspended without pay for the first four games of the season because of a flagrant foul against Dallas’ J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. The original ban was five games, but was reduced on Dec. 23 as a result of a shortened schedule caused by the NBA lockout.
Kobe Bryant, bogged down by foul trouble, had 17 points along with nine assists and 10 rebounds. The Lakers overcame 2-for-24 shooting from 3-point range.
Reserve forward Al Harrington had 21 points for the Nuggets, who have lost 25 of their last 29 road games against the Lakers.
PISTONS 96, PACERS 88
At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Jonas Jerebko had 20 points and 12 rebounds as Detroit ended Lawrence Frank’s 20-game losing streak by beating Indiana.
Jerebko, who missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon in the preseason, narrowly missed his career bests of 22 points and 13 boards.
Frank hadn’t won a game since April 13, 2009, when his Nets beat the Charlotte Bobcats. The Nets lost their final game that season, and Frank was fired after New Jersey got off to a 0-16 start the next fall. He also lost his first three games with the Pistons since replacing John Kuester during the offseason.
ROCKETS 95, HAWKS 84
At Houston, Kevin Martin scored 27 points, and Kyle Lowry matched a career high with 18 assists as Houston led from start to finish in a victory over Atlanta.
Luis Scola added 21 points, Jordan Hill grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and Chase Budinger scored 17 points for the Rockets, who looked fresh despite playing their third game in three nights.
Joe Johnson and Al Horford scored 15 points apiece for Atlanta.
Former Rocket Tracy McGrady scored 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting. He first entered the game with 3:57 left in the first quarter, and most fans greeted him with boos.