Lakers center Pau Gasol ruled out against Jazz

Lakers center Pau Gasol has been ruled out against the Utah

Jazz, further weakening an already depleted lineup for Los

Angeles.

Gasol, who has been fighting an upper respiratory infection,

didn’t practice Thursday or join the Lakers on their flight to

Utah. He began feeling the effects of the illness about a week ago

and sat out a 102-83 loss to Golden State last Saturday, the only

game he’s missed all season. He had 13 points and 13 rebounds

against Miami on Christmas Day.

Chris Kaman will make his fifth start of the season Friday night

in place of Gasol, who averages 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds. Kobe

Bryant (knee), Steve Nash (back) and Steve Blake (elbow) remain

sidelined for Lakers, who have lost three in a row.