On Thursday night, Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol spent some family time together—just two brothers enjoying sushi on a night before they do battle the next day. The restaurant may have served up some raw fish, but on Friday night, the brothers served up some raw emotions in a heated contest that saw the Lakers pull out an 86-84 victory.
With both brothers holding down the frontcourt, it was just a matter of time before they would collide via defensive assignments. At the 10:40 mark in the second quarter, Pau was defending his younger brother Marc on a face-up jumper attempt. In order to create space, Marc gave his older sibling some brotherly love with a swinging elbow to the chops.
Marc was called for the offensive foul and contested the ruling, but he was subsequently hit with a technical foul after his retaliatory actions were too overt for the referee.
When asked about the elbow in the Lakers’ locker room, Pau, the consummate professional, became the consummate big brother. He dismissed Marc’s elbow as standard fare, particularly when his team is fighting to maintain its eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
“We are close, but we’re still competitive,” said Pau. “We play a physical game and stuff like that happens sometimes.”
Rather than stick it to his brother physically, Pau preferred to exact revenge with his play. He scored 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and corralled nine rebounds—one of his better performances since returning from a torn right plantar fascia injury. Brother Marc had 11 points and eight rebounds of his own, but Pau came away with a much-needed win.
“Every game is important,” said Pau. “We got six (games) to go and every game matters.”
Ben Hernandez Jr.
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