Lakers' Chris Kaman gets teammates involved in his best game

Lakers' Chris Kaman gets teammates involved in his best game
Chris Kaman and the Portland Trail Blazers have reached on an agreement on a three-year contract. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Chris Kaman found time to joke about his best game with the Lakers. The rest of the season, excruciating at worst and challenging at best, melted behind him.

He had 28 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in an easy 115-99 victory Sunday over the Phoenix Suns.


"I actually thought I had 30 because my career high was 29 a bunch of times. That last play, Jodie [Meeks] was open so I threw it to him," Kaman said.

Had he shot it down low on that late fourth-quarter play, it probably would have gone in.

Kaman didn't mind on a night he made 13 of 19 shots.

"I just try to play the right way," he said, code for involving teammates almost as much as involving himself.

Kaman has had an uneasy relationship with Coach Mike D'Antoni, who benched him for 10 consecutive games in March.

Sometimes he's vocal about it. Sometimes he's not.

Just two days earlier, Kaman frowned when he played the first six minutes against Minnesota and was benched the rest of the way. D'Antoni said he wanted to play younger post players Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly that night as the Timberwolves ran away from the Lakers.

To which Kaman replied, "Steve Nash is 40 years old… He stayed with him" in the game.

Kaman doesn't really fit into D'Antoni's push-the-pace mind-set, but the Lakers coach had only good things to say about him Sunday.

"Chris can do that. He's that talented. He came ready to play obviously," D'Antoni said.

Kaman, Kelly and Sacre played well Sunday in the absence of Pau Gasol, who sat out a fourth game because of vertigo.

It means D'Antoni might have to make a decision about playing time when Gasol returns.

"It's going to be tough. I'll try to figure that one out," D'Antoni said.

Still ailing


Gasol completed some cardio work Sunday morning but still looked "a little loopy," D'Antoni said.

Gasol hasn't played since feeling dizziness and nausea forced him to leave a game at halftime March 23.

He wasn't the only player to sit out Sunday's game.

Xavier Henry was sidelined a second time in the last week because pain in his right knee flared up. He missed more than two months this season because of a bone bruise and cartilage abnormality in the knee.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan