The reeling Cavaliers trailed San Antonio 65-32 after two quarters Saturday, the 33-point deficit representing the largest halftime margin in the NBA this season. The Spurs scored the first nine points of the second half to go up 42 and led by 43 soon after en route to a 126-96 victory, but there was a big bright spot for the Cavs. A night after playing 18 minutes and posting eight points and four rebounds in a 104-100 loss in New Orleans, Andrew Bynum played in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Not only did Bynum play on consecutive nights, he had his best game of the year against the Spurs, scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds in 21 minutes. “I just played free,” Bynum said Monday following practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “That’s pretty much what I’m going to try to do.” Bynum, who missed all of last season due to surgery on both knees, still feels sharp pains when he tries “to do something explosive,” but said he’s at the point where he thinks he can continue to play in every game. “I think I can play 20 minutes a game at this point pretty comfortably,” he said. “I feel good.” Bynum, who surprised everyone by playing in the Cavs’ season opener after not seeing a minute of action in the exhibition season, is averaging 6.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.2 blocks in 16.3 minutes a night. The 26-year-old is shooting .406 from the field and a sizzling .895 at the line. Bynum has had a number of shots from the post go in and out, but he’s been deadly from the perimeter and might eventually get to the point where he shoots a 3-pointer or two. Defense remains a work in progress. Bynum has been solid when it comes to blocking shots at the rim, but he still lacks the mobility to move away from the hoop. That has resulted in opposing big men either knocking down open jumpers or driving around him. “He still needs to continue to grow on that end of the floor,” coach Mike Brown said. “I obviously saw him at his height when he was an All-Star (when Brown coached the Los Angeles Lakers). He was great offensively, very skilled, but he had an explosiveness to him, too, that we haven’t seen yet.
Cavs get good sign with Bynum playing in back-to-back games
Chronicle-Telegram | Nov 26