Lakers earn seventh win in eight games

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Pau Gasol didn't merely bounce back from a bad game 24 hours earlier. He ricocheted violently through the whole fourth quarter, knocking aside Golden State defenders and the Los Angeles Lakers' struggles with the same brute grace.

Gasol had 33 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Kobe Bryant added 21 points and the Lakers rallied from a late deficit for their seventh victory in eight games, 114-106 over the Warriors on Wednesday night.

Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, whose home loss to New Orleans on Tuesday snapped a six-game winning streak for the Western Conference leaders. Los Angeles also lost key swingman Lamar Odom to a bone bruise, trimming their rotation and increasing their dependence on Gasol, who had just 10 points against the Hornets.

Bryant half-jokingly asked Gasol to make up for it with 40 points against the Warriors' notoriously inadequate low-post defense. The Spanish star nearly got there, putting up 14 points and eight rebounds in the final period alone while brutalizing Andris Biedrins and the Golden State defense.

"I always like to bounce back aggressively after a game that I don't consider satisfying for me," said Gasol, who fell one short of his season-high in points and matched his rebounding career-high for the first time in nearly a year. "The positive thing we did tonight was throw the ball [into the low post] and go to work. You have to have balance in your game, and you have to take advantage of your strengths."

Coach Phil Jackson said Bryant was pretty much taking a rest in the first three quarters after laboring to score 39 points against New Orleans one night earlier. The MVP turned it on late, getting three big baskets in the final seven minutes -- but so did Gasol, who scored six points during the decisive 12-2 run midway through the fourth quarter, adding a clinching jump-hook with 57 seconds to play.

Even without their usual depth, the Lakers had enough poise to hold off the inexperienced Warriors, who have their own injury problems with Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis on the shelf. Jamal Crawford had 25 points and a season-high nine assists for Golden State, and Corey Maggette added 19 points before fouling out of the Warriors' fifth loss in six games.

"We got out of character and just started casting up shots," said Bryant, who took just one free throw. "Once you get off a team and give them life, especially in this building with their fans, it becomes dangerous."

Stephen Jackson, the Warriors' captain and second-leading scorer, sat out with a hamstring injury, while Odom didn't make the trip after injuring his knee in the second quarter Tuesday, leaving Phil Jackson with just six players from his regular nine-man rotation from earlier this season.

Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 17 points for the Lakers, playing 33 minutes in Odom's absence.

After beating Boston late last month, Golden State gave another tough game to an NBA finalist, with Marco Belinelli largely limiting Bryant's scoring until Gasol opened up the game down the stretch.

Coach Don Nelson said he had "no problems with the way we played."

"They're tough to cover, the whole team," Nelson added. "You have to help on Kobe a lot, and they have a lot of weapons, and [Gasol] was the recipient of some of that. When they go to him, which they did a lot tonight, there was a mismatch there, and they took advantage of that."

Los Angeles jumped to a 17-point lead in the second quarter, but Wright and Crawford led a 16-2 Golden State run to close the gap before halftime. The Warriors led 90-87 entering the fourth, but the clubs traded the lead until Sasha Vujacic's 3-pointer put Los Angeles up for good.

"Being young, we have to learn how to prepare for every single team," said Biedrins, who had 12 points, 17 rebounds -- all defensive boards -- and a career-high eight assists.

While Maggette played his second straight game for Golden State after missing 15 games with a strained hamstring, the Warriors lost starting forward Brandan Wright to a partially dislocated left shoulder late in the first half after Gasol dunked on him.

Wright will undergo an MRI on Thursday.

The Warriors played their NBA-low 14th home game in front of an enthusiastic sellout crowd, but their brutal travel schedule over the past month still doesn't let up until the weekend. Golden State, which hasn't played two games in the same city since Dec. 10-12, must travel to Portland on Saturday before returning home against Indiana on Sunday for the start of a seven-game homestand.

Game notes
Ellis is one step closer to returning from his nasty offseason ankle injury. The club cleared him Wednesday for the final stage of rehabilitation before returning to practice and games. Ellis, who averaged 20.2 points last year, hasn't played since tearing up his ankle while crashing a motorized scooter in August. ... G Anthony Morrow wasn't with the Warriors while awaiting the birth of his child with his girlfriend. ... Derek Fisher had eight assists, but just nine points in 38 minutes on 3-of-10 shooting.