LOS ANGELES – All-Star center-forward Pau Gasol had a triple-double and teammate Lamar Odom snatched a season-high 20 rebounds to give the Lakers a positive start out of the All-Star break.
Gasol finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Odom, who had been on a tear leading into last weekend’s break, continued his surge, adding 15 points to go along with his board domination.
Four other Lakers also scored in double figures, including Kobe Bryant, who had a rather pedestrian night with a season-low 10 points, on a 4 of 12 shooting effort.
The Lakers’ defense was extremely tight in the second quarter. Atlanta only made 9 of 22 field-goal tries and scored 12 points, which is a Lakers’ opponent low for a quarter this season. The Hawks’ 36 points through the first two quarters was a Lakers’ opponent low for any half this season.
Through three quarters, Odom and Gasol had combined to outrebound the entire Hawks’ team. The Lakers led by 25 points after three quarters, affording Coach Phil Jackson the opportunity to find playing time for newcomers Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison.
The Lakers had a golden opportunity to take a double-digit halftime lead when Bryant milked the clock on the final possession, drove the lane and dished a pass to an open Josh Powell. But Powell flubbed the lay-up try and the halftime buzzer sounded.