Pau Gasol was expected to do the heavy lifting this season with Kobe Bryant rehabbing from an Achilles injury. Gasol hasn’t been playing well on the offensive end, making under 40% of his field goals so far this season.
Then came Friday night and Gasol found his shooting touch.
The L.A. Lakers center scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead his team to a 102-95 win over the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.
Gasol made 11-of-19 field goals and was too much for his defender, David Lee, to handle.
“We’re finally finding some consistency,” Gasol told the Associated Press. “We’re finally putting good efforts mentally and physically together. ”
Gasol’s big night meant $24,000 for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. The veteran big man said before the game that he plans to contribute $1,000 for every point he scored against Golden State to the UNICEF disaster relief.
“I had too many things on my mind,” said Gasol, whose brother Marc sprained his left knee on the same night. “I definitely had that motivation of scoring tonight for the Philippines. Once I started knocking down those outside shots, it opened things up for me.”
The Lakers jumped to a 55-46 halftime lead behind Gasol. He scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first half. Nick Young scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half as the Lakers held off the Warriors to get another impressive win without Bryant.
Stephen Curry sat out the game after hitting his head on the floor against Utah earlier in the week, and Andre Iguodala sustained a hamstring injury in the third quarter.
Jordan Farmar scored 14 points and dished out a game-high eight assists. Steve Blake poured in 14 points, Jordan Hill added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Lee led the Warriors with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Follow him on Twitter @djroxalot.