Sonics Host Lakers

Andrew Bynum has been one of the big reasons for the Los Angeles Lakers' resurgence this season. But the Lakers will be without him on Monday as they try to win their seventh straight game.

Bynum, who sprained his left knee on Sunday, won't be with the team as the Lakers visit the Seattle SuperSonics, who will be trying to avoid their seventh straight loss.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Los Angeles -8 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 209.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles -8 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

In the third quarter of their 100-99 home win over Memphis on Sunday, Bynum landed on teammate Lamar Odom's foot and was helped off the court. While X-rays were negative, Bynum stayed behind in Los Angeles for an MRI.

He was walking under his own power with a slight limp after Sunday's game.

"I was pretty scared, but the X-rays were negative," Bynum said. "I never heard a pop. Just when I bend it, it hurts. I'm feeling fine, it's not as bad as I thought. I put ice on it, and it felt better right away."

The 7-foot Bynum already had 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting and nine rebounds in 20 minutes before his injury. He's gone 23-of-30 (76.7 percent) from the floor in his last three games, and leads the NBA with a 63.6 shooting percentage.

The 20-year-old also leads the Lakers (25-11) with 10.2 rebounds per game.

"It's unfortunate. It's part of the game," Kobe Bryant said. "It happens to all of us. It's going to change our rhythm up a lot. The next couple games or a week or so might be a little shaky. That's good that he's walking."

Without him, the Lakers struggled to hold off the Grizzlies, who outscored them 29-20 in the fourth quarter. But Bryant scored 37 points for the second straight game and a late free throw by Kwame Brown, who is likely to start in place of Bynum, provided the winning margin.

Against Seattle, the Lakers will be looking for their fifth straight road win for the first time since the 2003-04 season. They've already won six in a row for the first time since an 11-game winning streak that same season, averaging 112.0 points during the run and scoring at least 100 each time.

The Lakers have the NBA's second-longest active winning streak behind Dallas' seven-game run, and are also just a half-game behind the Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns, who are tied atop the Western Conference.

Seattle (9-27), which is only ahead of Minnesota in the West, lost its sixth straight game on Friday, 90-70 at home to Dallas.

The SuperSonics have averaged just 84.8 points and shot 39.3 percent from the field during their current skid, including just 35.4 percent against Dallas. Leading scorer Kevin Durant was just 4-of-13 with 15 points in that game.

"On offense we just need a little more consistency," Seattle guard Delonte West said. "... Teams are kind of figuring out what we like to do, and they're taking that away from us. Sometimes you have to get to a Plan B."

The Sonics are hoping the return of injured players Chris Wilcox and Luke Ridnour will change their fortunes. Wilcox - second on the team with 13.3 points - has missed the last four games with a dislocated pinky finger, while Ridnour has missed seven of the last eight games with a quadriceps injury.

Both are expected to play on Monday.

The Lakers beat Seattle 106-99 at home on Nov. 27, their third straight win against the Sonics, and Bryant has averaged 43.7 points in those three games.

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

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