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Led by Gasol, Lakers' big men make their presence felt against Hornets

Gasol has 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and he teams with Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum to help the Lakers pick up a victory.

January 08, 2011|By Broderick Turner

Six for eight from the field.

Thirteen rebounds. Seven assists. 21 points.

Not a bad night's work for Pau Gasol.

"I'll take that every game if I could," Gasol said after the Lakers defeated the New Orleans Hornets, 101-97, Friday night at Staples Center.

"Twenty-one, 13 and seven, I'll take that any game. I was a little bit upset that I missed those two free throws at the end, but that's about it."

Oh, yes, those two missed free throws in the fourth quarter.

Gasol was six-for-eight from the free-throw line in the fourth.

But he made one of two free throws with 21 seconds left, giving the Lakers a 100-95 lead but leaving the door open for the Hornets.

Gasol then missed his first free throw before making the second for a 101-97 Lakers lead that iced the game with 2.6 seconds left.

"I think Pau was pretty good tonight, but I didn't like his free-throw shooting at the end of the game," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.

Jackson paused, then said Gasol "played fine tonight."

Jackson then talked about a play in which Gasol stole the ball from Hornets all-star point guard Chris Paul.

"He [Gasol] had a play which he's probably one of the only big guys that can make a play like that," Jackson said.

The problem was that Gasol headed up the court and tried to dribble behind his back, and Paul stole the ball back.

"My behind-the-back is pretty good," Gasol said. "But he was too quick and I tried to do too much there. I should have picked it up and made the right pass and be a little more cautious with it."

Gasol made all four of his shots in the first quarter, scoring 11 points. He also had five rebounds and two assists.

But he didn't score or take a shot in the second quarter.

"They played a lot of zone, so I was just trying to get everybody to collapse and then just kick it out to different teammates," Gasol said. "I tried to be a little bit more of a passer even though I was shooting the ball well."

In the end, Gasol was pleased with how the Lakers' big men played.

Lamar Odom, playing despite a sore left shoulder, had 17 points on eight-for-15 shooting and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum had 17 points.

"I like the way we contributed," Gasol said. "We used our inside game. Andrew and Lamar had really good games. I'm very pleased with that."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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