Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lakers Notes: Once Again, Odom and Gasol Come Up Huge

From the LA Times:
Reporting from Salt Lake City - Kobe Bryant sat in the locker room and watched the latest surprise in a revealing -- make that very revealing -- five days.

He was sidelined again by a sprained left ankle, but the Lakers didn't mourn. Andrew Bynum sat out because of a bruised hip, so everybody else pushed forward.

Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom carried the Lakers to a third consecutive victory without their leading scorer, a 96-81 exhibition in teamwork Wednesday over the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Jazz had won nine consecutive games, but that ended amid a season-high 25 points from Odom. The Jazz had won 10 in a row at home, though it was in jeopardy from the start, the Lakers playing committed defense and finding each other on offense like few other times this season.

To recap their three games without Bryant: a grating nine-game losing streak finally ended in Portland, a hoarsely enthusiastic Staples Center crowd saw a determined victory over San Antonio, and a Utah team was dominated at home, where it had been 22-6.

Gasol had 22 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots. Odom had (25 points, 3 steals) 11 rebounds and showed an aggressive punch from the start, finishing with four three-point plays the old-fashioned way.
Yesterday, I wrote that Odom is the greatest sixth man in history. The man is proving my point. He comes in and does what is needed when it is needed. Gasol almost matched his historic numbers of the night before, when he joined the heady company of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, CharlesBarkley, Robert Parish and Bob McAdoo, as the only players to ever get 21 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks in a game.

Gasol's stat line last night: 22 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 blocks.

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