Pau Gasol has played in just four regular-season games, each one better than the one before.
Gasol was concerned about his conditioning when he returned after missing the first 11 games with a strained right hamstring, but that hasn’t been an issue.
“I think I’m making progress,” Gasol said. “Like I said, every game I’m taking a step forward. I’m feeling better. My conditioning is better. My moves are stronger and a little quicker, too. I’m just continuing to get better and continuing to play well.”
The Golden State Warriors got to see that firsthand Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
Gasol had a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, the third time in four games he has done that.
Gasol was nine for 11 from the field. He also had three assists and three blocked shots in 32 minutes 27 seconds.
“I don’t see any conditioning problems at all,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “I think his reflexes, his reactions are great. A couple of blocks he had tonight were really exceptionally blocks. He had to get through three people and get to the ball quickly.
“His rebounding the ball and his activity level was really good. . . . So I don’t see any hold up on his conditioning.”
At 7 feet, Gasol had the size advantage over Golden State’s 6-10 Vladimir Radmanivoc, the former Laker who started at power forward for the Warriors.
Gasol punished him inside.
When the Warriors turned to 6-11 Anthony Randolph or 6-10 Ronny Turiaf, Gasol worked them over too.
“That’s the strength of this team: size,” Gasol said. “We have a huge size [advantage] at almost every position. So we take advantage of it when we get a chance with different players. That’s one of the emphasis that we have to make every single night.”
With 8:35 left in the game, Gasol was taken out.
"[I’m] getting better every single game,” Gasol said. I feel good. I feel good about how I’m feeling right now and what I’m able to do out there.”