With the absence of center Andrew Bynum at least until late March, the Lakers have turned more to their All-Star combination of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
It has reached the point where Bryant and Gasol have brought back memories of Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
When the Lakers got back-to-back 30-point games from Bryant and Gasol in New York and Toronto—the first full games since Bynum’s injury—it was the first time Lakers teammates had turned the trick since Bryant and O’Neal did it in April 2003. The last time two NBA teammates did it was Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson for Denver in December 2007.
Bryant had 36 points and Gasol 31 in the victory in Toronto on Wednesday night, which was a far cry from Bryant’s 61 and Gasol’s 31 in the victory in New York on Monday night. That outing in Madison Square Garden, besides being the individual high for that arena, marked the fourth time teammates had a 60-30 package.
The other teammates to have done 60-30 before:
Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain and Paul Arizin (twice), and the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor and Jerry West.
In the Thursday night showdown in Boston, Bryant (26 points) and Gasol (24) didn’t score quite as much, but they came away with a victory to go 5-0 on their road trip with the final game coming Sunday in Cleveland.
LAKERS 110, CELTICS 109 (OT): The Lakers moved into the role of NBA front-runner with what is now a 40-9 regular-season record. The Lakers lost to Boston in the 2008 NBA Finals, but they swept the regular-season series and will have home court over the Celtics if the teams finish with identical records.
Lakers Team Report!
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