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Lakers bounce back against Warriors

Pau Gasol has 33 points and 18 rebounds and L.A. wins without Odom.

January 08, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

OAKLAND — Take away a third of their regulars, and it still didn't matter to the Lakers.

They had two players who could drive them to a victory.

Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant took turns leading the way to a 114-106 decision over the Golden State Warriors that came down to the final minute Wednesday at Oracle Arena.

It was frenetic, as it often is against the shot-happy Warriors, but the Lakers bounced back from their loss to New Orleans despite playing without Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton.

Gasol had 33 points and tied a career-high with 18 rebounds, noteworthy because it came 24 hours after one of his worst nights of the season, a near-invisible 10-point performance against the Hornets.

Gasol had 14 points and eight rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. Bryant, for his part, had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists.

"The league is not going to stop because we're without some players and we have some injuries," Gasol said. "We've got to step up, the guys that are healthy, and get it done."

At times, it seemed as if Gasol and Bryant were the only two players on the court for the Lakers.

On one play, Gasol fed Bryant for a dunk off a perfectly placed bounce pass. Bryant returned the favor a bit later, driving and finding Gasol for an easy hook shot that put the Lakers ahead, 102-91 with 3:54 to play.

The Lakers rarely found breathing room against the relentless attack of the Warriors, though Gasol's six-foot turnaround hook shot granted them a 106-101 lead with 57.1 seconds left.

"I told him before the game I wanted him to go for 40," Bryant said.

Then he smiled.

"I called him a lazy bum after the game."

Bryant had 31 points in a 130-113 laugher over Golden State on Dec. 28, but the Lakers weren't exactly cheerful going into the fourth quarter.

They had already lost the 17-point lead they held in the second quarter and trailed by the time the fourth quarter began, 80-77.

It came against a team that was 10-26 coming into the game.

Not to mention that Golden State was without Stephen Jackson, who was averaging 19 points, 4.5 rebounds and six assists.

Then again, the Lakers (28-6) were without the injured trio of Odom, Farmar and Walton, who combined for 20.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists a game.

"The type of players that we're missing, we would use, definitely," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.

Odom was diagnosed earlier in the day with a bone bruise in his right knee. He was listed as day-to-day, but such injuries can often take weeks to heal.

Gasol picked up the slack down low.

"I always like to come back aggressively after a game I don't consider satisfying for me," he said. "I had a really active game overall."

Not to be forgotten was an 18-point, 11-rebound effort by Andrew Bynum, who had struggled in recent weeks. He had only one double-double in his last nine games, but that changed Wednesday.

He made seven of 12 shots after making only two of seven against New Orleans.

Gasol, however, was the one who had a night to remember.

"He's an All-Star," Bryant said. "He's one of the best players in the world."


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