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Pau Gasol back to the Lakers' bench, Earl Clark to start Monday

January 21, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers big man Pau Gasol will come off the bench as Earl Clark, not pictured, takes over as the team's starting power forward.
Lakers big man Pau Gasol will come off the bench as Earl Clark, not pictured,… (Paul Buck / EPA )

CHICAGO — Pau Gasol's up-and-down season continued Monday. He's no longer a starter.

Coach Mike D'Antoni said it was a "gut feeling" to put Earl Clark alongside Dwight Howard in the Lakers' starting lineup for Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls.

Not to mention that Howard and Gasol haven't played well together on the court, D'Antoni said.

A throw-in from Orlando in the Howard trade last August, Clark has been a revelation this month since entering the Lakers' rotation and then the starting lineup for four games. He had 22 points and 13 rebounds two weeks ago against San Antonio and was averaging 9.8 points and 8.9 rebounds in January.

Gasol, a four-time All-Star, recently missed five games because of a concussion. He came off the bench in his first game back and then rejoined the starting five for Sunday's game against Toronto.

Clark, however, was D'Antoni's choice Monday as the Lakers' starting power forward.

The Lakers (17-23) have lost eight of their last 10 games.

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