Gasol's perfect night fuels blowout
Only two other players in NBA history have ever reached the level of statistical perfection Pau Gasol achieved Sunday night.
Charles Barkley did it 22 seasons ago. Gasol's teammate, Matt Barnes, did it two days ago.
Although they can't explain how the Los Angeles Lakers produced two essentially perfect individual games in one long weekend, Gasol and Barnes aren't fighting over who did it better.
Gasol scored 28 points without missing a shot, Kobe Bryant added 20 points and the Lakers took a 30-point lead in the first half of their fourth straight victory, 117-89 over the Golden State Warriors.
Gasol went 10 for 10 from the field, 8 for 8 from the free-throw line, and had nine rebounds and five assists. Until Gasol shredded Golden State's shoddy interior defense, Barkley and Barnes were the only players ever to produce games of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists without missing on at least five shots from the field and the line.
"Matt told me, 'Welcome to the club,"' Gasol said. "I said, 'Happy to be in there.' It's kind of weird that it happened that way. It's weird, but it's obviously a good sign."
Barnes scored 24 points and hit seven shots — five 3-pointers — without a miss at Minnesota on Friday night. While Barnes was impressed by Gasol's copycat effort, he noted the 7-foot Spaniard's advantages as well.
"He was playing against little midgets, though," Barnes joked. "That's not something you play for, but 10 for 10, 8 for 8, he topped me. It's amazing."
Gasol's feat was tested when the officials ordered both teams back on the court to complete the final second of the third quarter, which they thought was already over. Gasol calmly hit two free throws, then sat out the fourth quarter.
When comparing the feats, Gasol gave the edge to Barnes, noting the tougher shots in the smaller man's performance.
"I didn't have to make five or six 3-pointers," Gasol said. "My teammates were able to find me near the basket. I wasn't thinking about what Matt did. I was just converting."
Lamar Odom had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who beat their upstate rivals for the 11th straight time, including twice at Staples Center in three weeks. Los Angeles' 12th win in 14 games to open the season was a laugher by halftime, when the Lakers had hit nearly 66 percent of their shots.
Bryant played less than 27 minutes, and none of the Lakers' starters played more than 30.
"It really gives them a chance to get iced and out of here early," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said with a laugh. "It allows the starters to settle in and support the guys that are out there. We have that reserve to go to Tuesday night (against Chicago) if they need it."
Dorell Wright scored 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting, and Stephen Curry added 13 in the Warriors' fourth loss in five games. Monta Ellis sat out most of the second half after landing hard on his hip.
New Golden State owner and Hollywood producer Peter Guber watched from courtside, but his franchise remained winless against his hometown team since March 2008.
"We didn't come out with the competitive edge we needed to match their energy," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "This team here is playing for a bigger prize. This is a game on their schedule for a better seed, so they're playing for something bigger. We've got to get to ourselves to that point."
The Lakers were back in top form in their return from a 3-0 Midwest road trip, improving to 7-1 at home after last week's loss to Phoenix. The Warriors couldn't come close to matching the Suns' 22 3-pointers in that game, and Golden State wasn't exactly sharp inside the arc, either struggling with 35 percent shooting.
Los Angeles pulled away in the first quarter with an efficient 19-7 run, and the lead ballooned to 69-39 in the final minute before halftime. Gasol and Odom dominated the paint against Warriors center Andris Biedrins.
"You can block them out, but they're just tipping to each other, so it's really hard to get those rebounds," said Biedrins, who had nine points and nine rebounds. "That was why we went down so many points, because we just couldn't get those rebounds, and they were tipping in, getting second chance points."
Ellis scored five points on 2-of-10 shooting before falling to the court early in the third quarter holding his left hip. He said he'll play in Monday's home game against Denver.
NOTES: Golden State rookie guard Jeremy Lin capitalized on Ellis' absence for a career-high 13 points in 18 minutes, earning big cheers from the California fans who love the Asian-American guard from Harvard. ... Los Angeles also routed the Warriors by 24 points on Halloween night. ... Fans near courtside included Charlize Theron, Yankees pitcher and Bay Area native CC Sabathia, game show host Pat Sajak and slugger Derrek Lee.