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Lakers' Carlos Boozer frustrated by being benched

Lakers' Carlos Boozer frustrated by being benched
Lakers forward Carlos Boozer speaks with Coach Byron Scott during a loss to the Washington Wizards last week. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Carlos Boozer chose not to speak to the media after the Lakers' 104-87 loss Sunday night to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The veteran was benched by Coach Byron Scott, who chose to start 25-year old forward/center Ed Davis in his place.

"Obviously it was a surprise. I didn't expect that, but if helps our team win, I'm a team player," said Boozer after practice Monday. "If it helps our team, then that's what it's going to be."

Clearly the veteran forward is not happy with the change.

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"I'm sure Byron's trying to figure out a way for us to win games," said Boozer, who doesn't agree with Scott's attempts to improve the starting unit's defense with Davis.  "That's just his opinion.  I have a different opinion.  I'll keep it to myself.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak pulled Boozer aside after practice for a few minutes, but the veteran forward wouldn't reveal the (obvious) topic of their powwow.

"Just me and Mitch talking, that's not for you guys, that's just for us," said Boozer.

Scott and Boozer have yet to have a conversation about the lineup change.

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"We haven't talked about it," said Boozer, who found out when he got to Staples Center on Sunday, after missing shootaround.

"I was sick," said Boozer. "Taking antibiotics and meeting with doctors."

Scott indicated after the loss that he intends to stick with his new lineup for 10 to 15 games. Jeremy Lin was also benched, for veteran Ronnie Price.

"It's different coming off the bench. I've never come off the bench my whole a career," said Boozer, who approached reserve Nick Young for advice on the adjustment. "I talked to Swag about it, trying to stay warm on the bench -- things like that. Hopefully we can start getting wins, if it works.

Boozer finished with 12 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes. Davis notched 12 and seven in 30.

The Lakers host the Sacramento Kings (10-10) on Tuesday night.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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