Pau Gasol collected 21 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists to lead his shorthanded LA Lakers past the San Antonio Spurs 101-89 Monday night at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant sat his second consecutive game with a sore left angle as Andrew Bynum joined him on the bench with a bruised right hip. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom stepped up in their absence, contributing for 34 points combined.
“It’s got to be reassuring for the rest of the team and for the guys that don’t play that much that are now stepping up,” said Gasol. “It was fun. It was a good challenge for us. We played hard and got a nice win.”
The Spurs have now lost four in a row heading into their next game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. The Lakers will look to win three straight at Utah without their star player who’s currently listed as day to day. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like on Sunday. I’m not clairvoyant,” said Bryant jokingly. “If it’s an injury where I feel like I can play through it and have it heal while I’m playing, then I’ll play.”