Gasol Leads Lakers Past Nuggets
Spaniard's 36-point effort helps LA beat Denver in Game 1
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2008 6:01 PM CDT
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16), of Spain, slams a basket against Denver Nuggets forward Eduardo Najera (21), of Mexico.    ((AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian))
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(Newser) – Pau Gasol finally discovered how it feels to be on the winning side in a postseason game. The 7-foot Spaniard had a whole lot to do with his first victory. Gasol established playoff highs with 36 points and eight assists and had 16 rebounds as well Sunday as the Los Angeles Lakers took command early in the third quarter and beat the Denver Nuggets 128-114.

Gasol, a 27-year-old forward/center acquired from Memphis on Feb. 1 after spending 6 1/2 seasons with the Grizzlies, was 0-12 in three previous postseasons. Kobe Bryant scored 18 of his 32 points in the final 8 minutes to keep Los Angeles safely ahead.