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Andrew Bynum motivated Nuggets when he said close out games were easy

Lakers fans looking for someone to blame for the 102-99 Game 5 loss to the Nuggets on Tuesday night have a scapegoat: Andrew Bynum.

The Lakers center said prior to the potential series-ending game that “Close-out games are actually kind of easy. Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning, so we want to come out and establish an early lead and protect it.”

His words turned into motivation for the Nuggets which went up by 15 at times during the fourth quarter.

“All of us read that and we definitely wanted to prove him wrong and we did,” said center JaVale McGee, who had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

After his team lost, Bynum was asked if he regretted his remarks.

“No,” Bynum said. “We didn’t get out to a good start and we lost, so I guess the same holds true.”

Kobe Bryant was asked about Bynum’s bulletin board comments and agreed they probably motivated Denver.

“I don’t think it makes any difference,” Bryant said. “Did it pump them up? Probably. Would they have come out and played with that kind of energy anyway? Probably. We didn’t execute. They obviously played harder than we did. So, it’s a lesson to learn. You never want to give anybody bulletin (board) material to begin with, but if you’re going to be a champion, you got to play through that type of stuff.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown said he didn’t have a problem with Bynum saying things like that as long as he backed up his play, which he didn’t. Maybe this was a good learning experience for Bynum. He learns that motivating your opponent with quotes is a stupid idea, but he still has two more chances to make amends.



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