Rubio stands up for fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013
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"It's hard, when you are hearing things with the rumors that you are going to be traded, to be focused," Rubio said. "Like he says, he's a professional and he's been playing for a long time and he's going to keep doing what he doing."

Gasol is averaging a career-worst 12.8 points per game and is shooting a career-low 44.8 percent during this messy Lakers season. Not normally one to vent publicly, Gasol has complained about his role, most recently when he was benched for the entire fourth quarter of a win over the Hornets.

"Well, you know, 'all for one' didn't last (very) long, did it?" D'Antoni quipped to reporters before the loss to Phoenix. "Forty-eight-hour shelf life. That's not bad. We'll take what we can get."

It's been one thing after another for D'Antoni and the Lakers, who were considered one of the favorites for the title after acquiring Dwight Howard in a trade in the offseason. Mike Brown was fired five games into the season, with D'Antoni getting the job over Phil Jackson. Howard hasn't been his usual dominant self for much of the year while recovering from a back injury last season and also has been bothered by a right shoulder injury over the last month.

Howard aggravated his shoulder injury in a loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night. The Lakers announced that he was evaluated on Thursday and is considered day-to-day.

The Lakers have shown signs of life in the last week, with consecutive victories over the Jazz, Thunder and Hornets. But they're still just 20-26 and in 10th place in the West, four games behind Houston for the eighth and final playoff spot.

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski