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Phil Jackson gives Lakers the day off

Kobe Bryant says tired team can use it to their advantage.

March 05, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

After nine games in 15 days, the Lakers wrapped their arms around something different -- a break.

Coach Phil Jackson told players to stay home Wednesday in order to rest, recuperate and . . . read?

"I want them to take the day off and just enjoy the day," Jackson said. "They can do whatever they want to do, read books to their children, whatever they do."

The Lakers' storybook season hit an unexpected plot twist in Denver and Phoenix last weekend, but a 99-89 victory Tuesday over Memphis, though not entirely impressive, put them back on the winning track.

They had been through a busy stretch, taking on so many games in so few days, that they reacted favorably to an off day.

"You just try to use it to your advantage," Kobe Bryant said. "You get rest and get mentally back in tune to what we want to do and go from there. So we're cool with that."

The Lakers play Friday at home against Minnesota and then embark on a three-game trip to Portland, Houston and San Antonio.

Gasol vs. Gasol

Pau Gasol is a two-time All-Star, but his younger brother, Marc, stood up to him Tuesday in the Lakers' victory over Memphis.

Pau, 28, had 13 points on five-for-13 shooting and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. Marc, 24, had 17 points on five-for-seven shooting and 14 rebounds in 34 minutes.

"Marc came to battle," Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins said. "He had a sibling rivalry and he met the challenge. He battled Pau, beat him up a little bit, but the Lakers won the game."

Who picked Kobe?

Bryant and Stephon Marbury made an unlikely pairing in a Sports Illustrated poll of 190 NBA players who were asked which player they would least like to have on their team.

Marbury, who signed with Boston last week, received 22% of the vote, followed by Houston forward Ron Artest (9%), and a three-way tie between Bryant, Golden State guard Stephen Jackson and Washington guard Gilbert Arenas, who each received 5% of the vote.

Odom's game

Lamar Odom's stat line from Tuesday's game -- two points on only one-for-eight shooting but also 13 rebounds, eight assists and six blocked shots -- was as unusual as they get.

He also flipped the ball off the backboard just out of reach of a flying Trevor Ariza for a failed alley-oop attempt on a fastbreak.

"That's a play for the crowd, to get them in it," Odom said. "I didn't get taken out after that or cursed out, so that was a play that Phil thought was there too. Maybe I'll keep it off the glass next time and just give him an alley-oop."

Odom's blocked shots were his most since recording nine against the Vancouver Grizzlies in December 2000 in his second NBA season.


Times staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.


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