Gasol, Bynum come up big for Lakers


Gasol, Bynum come up big for Lakers

BOSTON -- There is no question Kobe Bryant is the center of attention on the Los Angeles Lakers. But on Thursday night, it was their big men whose size was a difference-maker.

Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol combined for 41 of the Lakers' 88 points and 31 of their 40 rebounds. The Lakers outscored the Celtics 46-38 in the paint during their overtime win, including a 44-38 edge in regulation.

"We are just active, Gasol said of himself and Bynum. "They do a job on being really aggressive loading the strong side of the floor and obviously with Kobe creating so much attention, sometimes they took the bodies off us. And we just took advantage of that and tried to pursue the ball and get those loose balls and rebounds and put them back."

Not only were the Celtics dominated in the paint, they were also outscored 24-13 in second-chance points. The C's gave up 22 of those in regulation, nearly 10 more points than their opponent's season average.

"The rebounding, theyre big man," said Kevin Garnett. "Bynums coming into his own and its good to see a big guy like that whos kind of re-established the big man back in our league. He and Pau have a great chemistry. They work really well together. The second chance points hurt us, but we knew that coming into the game. We were trying to contain Kobe and our schemes and stuff, you leave those options open. So youre going to give something up."

The Celtics knew what Bynum and Gasol were capable of, and the pair delivered on it.

"We just kind of picked up our aggressiveness defensively, stepping out, everybody was moving their feet, everybody really wanted to win," said Byum. "We wanted one and we got it."

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
Rob Whalen RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
Brian Johnson LHP