Gasol frustrated after benching

Tuesday night’s win over the New Orleans Hornets was a difficult one for Lakers center/forward Pau Gasol.

“It’s fun to win but when a team comes back on you the way the Hornets did tonight, and you’re not there as a high-quality player and a competitor, it’s frustrating,” Gasol said.

Already bothered by head coach Mike D’Antoni’s decision to have him come off the bench behind Earl Clark, Gasol also sat the fourth quarter as the Hornets made a late run.

When D’Antoni rushed his starters back in to staunch the bleeding, Gasol just sat and watched.

“It’s a challenge,” Gasol said. “I’m challenged every day to keep my calm and keep my peace and not let my emotions take over my words.”

The Lakers pulled out the victory (111-106). Gasol is doing his best to accept his new role, but make no mistake, he’s not happy with it.

-Eric Pincus