by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

There were many reasons for the Los Angeles Lakers’ terrible loss in Houston last night, during which they relinquished a 17-point lead to the under-handed Rockets.

Kobe Bryant shot often and often missed, the defense was atrocious, and Andrew Bynum drew a couple of silly techs and was kicked out of the ballgame in the third quarter.

A disbelieving Bynum smiled widely when he was ejected, making sure to hi-five everyone on the Lakers’ bench, and several fans sitting courtside. Mike Brown was not amused.

From the LA Daily News:

“Our defense is the worst it’s been all year,” Brown said. “The last seven or eight games, we just haven’t been playing well defensively. [...] Kobe Bryant brushed off Bynum’s ejection by saying he likes the way the 7-footer plays with “a chip on his shoulder,” and to take away that part of his game would take away something that makes him a force in the paint. “You can’t expect him to have it one night and not the next,” said Bryant, who didn’t speak to Bynum after the game. “I like the chip that he plays with.”

“I was irritated,” Brown said of Bynum’s ejection, which left the Lakers vulnerable in the paint. “Drew has to figure out what he wants to do. If (complaining to the referees profanely) is justified or not, nobody can put themselves in jeopardy.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Lakers, who are an unsightly 9-15 on the road this season, as they travel to Dallas for a matchup against the Mavericks tonight. For Mike Brown’s sake, here’s to hoping Andrew Bynum can hang around for the whole thing.