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Lakers' Pau Gasol runs up the score for charity

The forward donates $1,000 for each point he scored in the Lakers' victory over the Clippers — a total of $26,000 — to a relief fund for Japan.

March 26, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Lakers power forward Pau Gasol looks for a cutting teammate against the defense of Clippers power forward Blake Griffin on Friday night at Staples Center.
Lakers power forward Pau Gasol looks for a cutting teammate against the… (Kirby Lee / US Presswire )

His scoring meant more than just helping the Lakers defeat the Clippers.

His scoring meant more than just putting up another solid statistical game.

The 26 points that Pau Gasol scored during the Lakers' 112-104 victory over the Clippers on Friday night at Staples Center meant the All-Star forward had contributed to a worthy cause.

Gasol donated $1,000 for every point he scored toward to a fund set up by Direct Relief International to assist those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan this month.

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It meant that Gasol will write a check for $26,000.

"This was a good way for me to be involved and get more awareness," Gasol said. "Everybody that jumped on board, I want to say thank you."

Gasol scored 12 points in the first quarter on six-for-seven shooting.

Yes, Gasol said after the game, he was fully aware that the more points he scored, the more money he would be able to donate.

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"I was feeling good," he said. "The shots were going in and that meant a lot more than just having a good game for myself and for my team.

"When you're playing for something more beyond the usual, it's just not little, obviously. It makes you feel really good about yourself especially when other people get benefited from it."

Magic Johnson had said earlier Friday on his Twitter account that he would match whatever Gasol donated.

That means Johnson will also write a check for $26,000.

"I'm very thankful that Magic supported me like that and supported all those people and supported all those people that are affected by this disaster," Gasol said. "I want to thank him personally when I see him and everybody else that jumped on board in whatever scale and can help. I'm also thankful to them too."

Gasol was 10-for-15 from the field overall. He also had eight rebounds and made all six of his free throws.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was not opposed to Gasol getting involved in this charity effort.

What Jackson did not like was Gasol looking to score as many points as he could.

"There was one time when he didn't pass the ball and he should have passed the ball," Jackson said. "I did hit him up on it when he came to the bench, and he acknowledged it. That was the only time I thought, 'He's trying to score more than he should.' But then after the game I saw what it was all about and kind of understood.

"I don't think that's a good idea. I'm not particular a fan of that. But I am a fan of giving money to charity. I don't think point total should be the criteria."

Gasol just signed up for a Twitter account Friday, something he decided to do as a way to reach out to his fans.

By the end of the game Friday night, Gasol had almost 18,000 followers.

He said he had been advised to join the social-networking service.

"I didn't know how it worked that well because I wasn't familiar with it," Gasol said. "I know that it has a lot of success and it's a way to get to people and get your message across really direct, and also a good way to interact with fans and connect with different people."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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