Yahoo! Sports: Pau Gasol finally discovered how it feels to be on the winning side in a postseason game. The 7-foot Spaniard had a whole lot to do with his first victory.

Gasol established playoff highs with 36 points and eight assists and had 16 rebounds as well Sunday as the Los Angeles Lakers took command early in the third quarter and beat the Denver Nuggets 128-114.

Gasol, a 27-year-old forward/center acquired from Memphis on Feb. 1 after spending 6 1/2 seasons with the Grizzlies, was 0-12 in three previous postseasons.

Kobe Bryant scored 18 of his 32 points in the final 8 minutes to keep Los Angeles safely ahead. Lamar Odom had 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists and Luke Walton added 16 points for the Lakers, who entered having won eight of their last nine regular-season games to earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Game 2 will be played Wednesday night at Staples Center before the best-of-seven series shifts to Denver for the third and fourth games.

  • kb

    good game but we still bynum bac we need 2 be at full power if we gotta play boston an spurs

  • http://thelakersation.com/blog PauKobeBynumDynasty

    Excellent overall game by Pau Gasol. He, Lamar Odom, and Luke took over when Kobe was in foul trouble…

    Top players:

    1. Pau Gasol
    2. Lamar Odom
    3. Luke Walton
    4. Kobe Bryant

  • http://thelakersation.com/blog PauKobeBynumDynasty

    [Comment ID #33317 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Bynum can wait for a bit… we need him at full strength

  • Sako

    Now you know a team plays terrible defense when Luke Walton scores 16 points on 6-8 shooting.

  • ab17

    [Comment ID #33320 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Agree hahaaha

  • laker-nate

    where the luke haters at???? all the luke haters can choke on the man sausage! luke had a hell of a game? play of the game was at the end odom to luke then luke threw the lob back 2 odom, sikkkk!!!! thankfully gasol carried us 2night cuz kobe was a no show till the 4th, he had many forces that were niot very kobe like…he took the kenyon martin matchup personal, so look 4 kobe 2 revert 2 his old ways as long as the nuggets disrespect him with that matchup…stay in ur mvp form kobe!!!!!

  • chinese guy

    good win! Gasol dominated and lamar & luke came through!! and of course kobe is kobe….

  • lakers4life

    [Comment ID #33320 Will Be Quoted Here]

    stfu

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #33325 Will Be Quoted Here]

    WTF? Luke Walton isn’t much of a offensive force

  • Majic “Big” Johnson

    Now, now children..

    We won so both of you stfu..

  • laker-nate

    walton shud start this whole series, because when vlad is n he is bein guarded by anthony carter and vlad is more of a shooter than a post up player…luke wud be a perfect start 4 this series only…he cud post the hell outta carter LAKERS NBA CHAMPS 07-08!!

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #33327 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Luke Walton’s season high is 19 vs. The Wizards, & this is a playoff game, against the 50-win Nuggets. Better team, more pressure.

  • ab4sure

    Gasol is like the perfect big man to run this triangle offense. Also the lakers draw of the nuggets and the winner of utah/houston series is a perfect scenario. We miss the big men of duncan/Shaq until the west finals and then hopefully we will have bynum back for the west finals (knock on wood).

  • kobewannabe

    there are so many haters in laker land.wen someone fuccs up they axe them real hard.and wen they play good they just wnt to suck on em.hate on the opponent not on our players.dang!

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #33334 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i don’t want to to suck on em, he’s a below avg shooter/scorer, but he has a good basketball iq, thats all i’m saying, that Denver’s defense is that bad that even one of our bad shooter/scorers scores a lot.

  • gugy

    GASOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am so glad we have you and not Garnett!

    Lakers all the way baby!

  • BringDFishBack

    A few things:
    1. Walton was not thrown to the floor on the flagrant foul as the article says.
    2. I agree with the statement that Walton should start this series. His basketball IQ is very high, and he will know when to and will execute when there is a mismatch. With Vladi Anthony Carter can just stand outside with him. Luke will know when to post up and is great at posting up smaller players. He can continue that until they put Anthony Carter on Kobe, K-Mart on Odom, and Melo on Walton. That just creates a mismatch for Kobe.
    3. The minutes the bench sees should be limited this series. They love to run, but that is the Nuggets offense. Normally it provides a good contrast to the starters’ slower pace, but it just hurts them. They need to make it so that only one or 2 of the bench mob are in the game at one time. They just won’t be able to run against the Nuggets. Farmar could be in there with Kobe, Odom, Pau, and Luke, or Sasha with Fish, Pau, Odom, and Kobe or Luke. Then give Odom and Pau breaks with Turiaf and Vladi. But I don’t think they should have the bench in there together, because they run like the Nuggets and it won’t work.
    4. They need to look for Pau and Odom inside on every play.

  • BringDFishBack

    Not sure if there is a character limit or something but my last message got posted before I was done, so let me continue.

    4. They need to look for Pau and Odom inside on every play. Whether it be posting them up or drive and dish, these guys are almost always open. The Nuggets love to double team in the paint, and these 2 are open for dunks.
    5. The Nuggets seem to be known as “thugs”. But what I saw today and reading this article have proven otherwise. When JR Smith committed that hard foul on Luke he went over and made sure he was okay. I don’t believe there was any intent to hurt him, and don’t believe it should have been a flagrant for that reason but I can see why it was. AI realized he was frustrated and admitted it and even agreed with being through out. With the Anthony Carter situation it was just a mix up, Kobe hit him on accident and Carter didn’t think it was but that’s easy to think that. Melo didn’t do anything when he got hit in the head, just shook it off.

  • STEVE

    Lakers don’t looks so good. More like the Nuggets don’t play D. I don’t think the Lakers can win the title.

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #33341 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Are you even a Laker fan???

  • two0one7

    [Comment ID #33342 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Doesn’t matter. The best part about being a Laker fan is proving guys like him wrong.

  • two0one7

    [Comment ID #33342 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Doesn’t matter. The best part about being a Laker fan is proving guys like him wrong.

  • DingleBerry

    [Comment ID #33332 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i GOT SOME WOOD YOU CAN KNOCK ON…

  • ab4sure

    What a Dingleberry!!!

  • wong63

    [Comment ID #33347 Will Be Quoted Here]

    That was so homo

  • SteelSeries

    kb
    Apr 20th, 2008 at 4:18 pm
    good game but we still bynum bac we need 2 be at full power if we gotta play boston an spurs

    Bynum ain’t coming back this season read the posts..

  • Keep Odom

    I still dont believe in Luke. The key word here is CONSISTENCY. Until he puts some consistency in his game then we can talk. Until then we will see.

  • DCLAKER

    HEY!WHAT THE F#$* IS THIS LAKER HATIN’ ALL ABOUT?WE’RE NOT GOING TO WIN THE TITLE THIS YEAR….SO THE F@#$ WHAT! RIGHT ABOUT NOW I’M SO PROUD OF MY TEAM,JUST LIKE ANY LAKER FAN SHOULD BE AFTER WHAT THIS TEAM HAS BEEN THROUGH AND SOMEBODY IS GOING TO TRY AND TARNISH OUR CELEBRATION WITH THIS BULLS….. sorry LAKERNATION but it burns me up when SO-CALLED LAKER FANS(WHICH’CHA FAKE A#$ES)get on this site and talk about what The Lakers aren’t going to do.

    GO ON THE SMELL-TICS SITE AND TALK CRAP! MATTER OF FACT ROOT FOR THE NUGGETTS,THEY LOVE CRY BABIES,BUNCH OF B!@#%ES!!!

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #33357 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Yes please stop spreading your homo life style here on lakernation. Your name really says it all… u just have a lot of shyt around you. Also don’t be afraid of women, they have something u should want.

  • ab4sure

    BTW this comment above was addressed to Dingleberry the Homo.