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Basketball: Pacers sign big man Bynum for title chase

Andrew Bynum, the free agent centre who helped the Los Angeles Lakers to two NBA titles, signed with the Indiana Pacers for the remainder of the season on Saturday.

NEW YORK: Andrew Bynum, the free agent centre who helped the Los Angeles Lakers to two NBA titles, signed with the Indiana Pacers for the remainder of the season on Saturday.

The 26-year-old 7-footer joins a Pacers team that has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 35-10 and trails only Oklahoma City (38-10) in the overall standings with nearly half the season to play.

"We are obviously happy to have him join our team," Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird said. "He gives us added size. He is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition."

Bynum has averaged 11.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.6 blocked shots and 1.2 assists a game over 416 career NBA games.

Bynum played seven seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, including their 2009 and 2010 NBA championship teams, but was traded in 2012 to Philadelphia, where knee problems caused him to miss the entire 2012-13 campaign.

After being signed by Cleveland this season, Bynum averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds over 24 games for the Cavaliers before being suspended and later traded to the Chicago Bulls, who released him.

Bynum will join the Pacers next week, serving in a backup role for Roy Hibbert but in a position to enter the game for key minutes every night.

"It really wasn't a hard decision," Bynum said. "I think it's the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think we have got the best chance of winning.

"It will be great to back up Roy and I'll do whatever I can to help this team."

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