NBA Playoffs: Lakers 128, Nuggets 114
By John Nadel
LOS ANGELES ó Pau Gasol’s post-game smile made it clear how he felt about finally winning a postseason game.
His numbers revealed just how much he had to do with the victory.
Gasol established career playoff highs with 36 points and eight assists, and he also had 16 rebounds and three blocked shots Sunday as the Los Angeles Lakers took command in the third quarter and beat the Denver Nuggets 128-114.
“It feels amazing, it feels great. I had a blast out there,” the 7-foot Spaniard said after shooting 14-of-20 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the foul line. “Every guy on our team is doing an amazing job out there, and I’m just one of them.”
Gasol, a 27-year-old forward/center acquired from Memphis on Feb. 1 after spending 61/2 seasons with the Grizzlies, was 0-12 in three previous postseasons.
Kobe Bryant, who said he made himself a decoy through most of the game, scored 18 of his 32 points in the final 8 minutes to keep Los Angeles safely ahead. Lamar Odom had 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists and Luke Walton added 16 points for the Lakers, who entered having won eight of their last nine regular-season games to earn the No. 1 seed in the West.
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