Pau Gasol gets the job done for Lakers in Game 3
It was not spectacular, not anything special, really.
But it was solid, and that’s all the Lakers needed from Pau Gasol on this night.
Gasol had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ 91-84 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night at TD Garden.
“There are games where you are going to get more looks and there are games where you want,” said Gasol, who was five for 11 from the field. “But you’ve still got to do whatever you can do out there.”
For Gasol, that meant playing defense; he blocked one shot.
For Gasol, that meant passing the basketball; he tied Kobe Bryant for the lead in assists with four.
“You have to rebound, play defense,” Gasol said. “You have to do the little things. Whatever it is, you have to contribute in some way. That’s what we all did as a team.”
This was a game in which Gasol didn’t win his matchup against Boston’s Kevin Garnett — at least not in terms of scoring.
Garnett had his best game of the series, scoring 25 points on 11-for-16 shooting.
“He was more effective tonight,” Gasol said. “He got into the lane a lot more and he had a real good game. I’ve just to make sure I’m aware of what he’s doing out there. But he made some tough shots. He made some good plays. Now we’ll go on to Game 4 and try to do a better job on him.”
As a team, the Lakers did a good job against the Celtics, holding them to just 43.8% from the field.
The Lakers had a 17-point lead in the second quarter and had to hold on for the win.
“That was a great win, a great team win,” Gasol said. “It was a crucial win. We played extremely hard. We played together. Defensively, the team did an excellent job.
“We weren’t very sharp offensively. But we still hustled and did what it took to be able to give ourselves a chance to win the ballgame.”
The Lakers opened a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and took back the home-court advantage they lost by losing Game 2 at Staples Center.
Game 4 is here Thursday night.
It’s an opportunity for Gasol and the Lakers to put the Celtics in a stranglehold if Los Angeles can win.
“It will be hard,” Gasol said. “We understand how critical that game is for them. We understand how important it would be for us to be able to be successful as we were [Tuesday] night and get another win. So, it’ll be another tough battle.”
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