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Q&A with Pau Gasol: Lakers' big man stays positive

By Berry Tramel, Staff Writer, Modified: April 30, 2010 at 8:50 am •  Published: April 30, 2010

Laker All-Star Pau Gasol has averaged 19.8 points and 11.0 rebounds in the series against the Thunder, while shooting 56.1 percent from the field. He had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers’ 111-87 victory in Game 5.

How important was it to get the ball inside in Game 5?

Gasol: "That’s the key for us to be able to move the ball, attack and penetrate, with pass and with dribble, and finishing out the plays. I think we did a good job on that by being aggressive and assertive.”

How effective was Kobe Bryant in the Game 5 blowout?

Gasol: "His defensive effort was excellent. Absolutely. He was a big factor in stopping (Russell) Westbrook and containing him to make sure he doesn’t get in the lane as he has. So Kobe did an excellent job as far as defending and also setting up. He had seven assists. That’s also really important. He took his shots, he was aggressive. Overall just a great effort.”

How important was establishing your presence in the post?

Gasol: "We had 18 out of 26, both of us combined. So yeah, we shot the ball well and we were aggressive. I think we made ourselves a big presence in the lane. We were effective. We’ll try to continue to do that in Game 6. It will be a little more difficult in Oklahoma, but I think we need to be as aggressive as we were tonight as a whole.”

How important would it be to close out the Thunder in Game 6?

Gasol: "That’s what we’re going to try to do. We understand how hard it is to get a game, get a win in Oklahoma. We understand how hard it’s been the last two games we’ve played there. But I’m a positive thinker. We have to the power to do so.

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