Yahoo! Sports: Kobe Bryant sat at his locker and praised Pau Gasol, both of Bryant’s feet in an ice bucket and two more bags numbing each knee.
On a night when Bryant was far from his dominant self, Gasol showed what a key piece he is for the Los Angeles Lakers despite being overshadowed by superstars. They dearly missed him for the first 11 games, when Gasol was sidelined with a strained right hamstring.
Gasol scored 22 points to lead seven players in double figures and also had 12 rebounds, and the Lakers won their fifth straight game with a 130-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.
“Pau’s just being Pau,” Bryant said. “He’s one of the best in the game. We missed that.”
Ron Artest added 19 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Bryant had 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals after a slow start to help the Lakers to their highest point total of the season.
Los Angeles had plenty of offensive power to beat the Warriors for a sixth straight time, getting 13 points and five assists from Derek Fisher and 12 points and seven boards from Andrew Bynum. Reserve Shannon Brown added 17 points, including two spectacular dunks.