Wednesday , Dec , 26 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Andrew Bynum Scores Career-high 28 in Lakers Win

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant asked to be traded last spring in part because he wanted to play for a team that could contend for an NBA title.

He just might have gotten his wish by staying put.

Bryant scored 26 of his 38 points in the second half, Andrew Bynum had a career-high 28 points to go with 12 rebounds and a season-high four assists, and the Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 122-115 on Tuesday for their ninth win in 11 games.

"I’m focused on one thing and one thing only — winning the championship," Bryant said after the Lakers moved a season-high eight games over .500 at 18-10 and within one game of the Pacific Division-leading Suns.

Bryant, who complained about a lack of talent around him, has gotten plenty of help recently, especially from the 20-year-old Bynum, who shot 11-of-13 in outplaying Phoenix center Amare Stoudemire. Bynum left to a roar of approval from the Staples Center crowd of 18,997 and a hand-slap from Bryant with 11.5 seconds to play.

"We’re getting better. It’s just about getting better each day," Bryant said. "It’s good to have games like this. We have a solid foundation, we really do. When you play against Phoenix, you have to be solid."…(Click here for more.)