ESPN: Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, Pau Gasol added 10 points in his first game in nearly three weeks and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-91 on Wednesday night.
Bryant also had 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers (51-24), who trail New Orleans by 1½ games and San Antonio by one game in the Western Conference standings. The Hornets have eight games left, the Lakers and Spurs seven each.
Gasol, playing for the first time since spraining his left ankle March 14 and admittedly not fully healed, played nearly 32 minutes — far more than expected. He added six rebounds and seven assists.
“It’s going to be sore, there’s going to be pain,” he said before the game. “I just have to deal with it and get over it.”
The Lakers were 5-4 in his absence after going 15-4 in his first 19 games after Los Angeles acquired him from Memphis.
Derek Fisher scored 13 points, Lamar Odom had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Vladimir Radmanovic and Jordan Farmar added 10 points each for the Lakers.