Pau Gasol stays hot, scoring 26 points in Lakers' win over Golden State

Early in the fourth quarter, with the Lakers ahead of the Golden State Warriors by 22 points, Pau Gasol did a quick spin along the baseline for a reverse layup while being fouled by Dan Gadzuric.

Gasol made the free throw for a three-point play, just another of the many moves and displays of skills produced by the 7-foot center during the Lakers' 107-83 rout of the Warriors on Sunday night at Staples Center.

He led the Lakers in scoring with 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting. He was second in rebounding with 12, five offensive. He had four assists, tied for the team lead with three other teammates. He also had two blocked shots.

"Obviously, individually, things are working and I'm feeling very well out there and effective," Gasol said. "I think I can still be better. But I feel pretty satisfied how things are going so far."

Gasol has scored 20 points or more in all three games and has had a double-double in two of the three games.

In three games, Gasol is averaging 25.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

He started the game against the Warriors a little slow, something Lakers Coach Phil Jackson pointed out.

Gasol missed six of his eight shots in the first quarter, scoring only four points.

"I didn't like his first run out there on the floor," Jackson said. "He was rushing things a little bit. He just didn't have his timing. But when he came back in the second time in the second quarter, he got things rolling and was really effective tonight."

Indeed, Gasol got down to business in the second quarter.

He scored 12 points, making all five of his shots.

He ran the court hard twice in a row in the second quarter, once getting a dunk off a lob pass from Shannon Brown and another dunk off a pass from Derek Fisher.

Gasol played a team-high 35 minutes, knowing he was needed because backup center Theo Ratliff has been slowed by a sore left knee and because Andrew Bynum remains out recovering from right knee surgery.

"Whatever the coach decides, I follow. That's just the way it is. Obviously, we're a little short-handed inside. Maybe I played a couple of more minutes than I should have, but we had to secure the win."

The Lakers are asking a lot of Gasol.

They need him to deliver every night while Bynum mends.

Gasol and the Lakers will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

"We're going to be challenged every night," Gasol said. "I think we can improve defensively. There's still a lot of room from improvement. Obviously, there are a lot of games to go, but we're excited. I think we're pretty happy about how things are going right now."

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