Pau Gasol back in Lakers' lineup
PHOENIX -- Pau Gasol will return to the starting lineup against the Phoenix Suns after missing the Los Angeles Lakers' last game because of an upper respiratory infection, coach Mike D'Antoni said after shootaround Monday.
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The Lakers lost 102-83 to the Golden State Warriors without Gasol on Saturday. It was the first game he missed all season. He is averaging 15.0 points and 9.4 rebounds on 44.8 percent shooting, but he's been on an uptick as of late.
In his last six games, he's averaged 17.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.7 blocks while shooting 58.7 percent (44-for-75) from the field.
D'Antoni said Gasol would not have a minutes restrictions against the Suns. Gasol participated in the shootaround but did not speak with media.
D'Antoni said the Lakers would also start Shawne Williams in the frontcourt against the Suns instead of Jordan Hill. Williams started the last time the Lakers played Phoenix, a 114-108 home loss, to match up against Channing Frye. D'Antoni said Williams would also start when the Lakers play the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.
"The next couple games teams will go small, they spread the floor, and we want to make sure we're able to match up," D'Antoni said.
Hill had 14 points and 10 rebounds against Golden State. Chris Kaman, who started in Gasol's place against the Warriors after not playing in 12 of the Lakers' previous 14 games, had 10 points and 17 rebounds. D'Antoni said both Hill and Kaman will come off the bench Monday.