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Gasol, Odom dominate as Lakers throttle Hawks

Feb 18, 2009 - 6:55 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom made sure the Los Angeles Lakers started the second half of the season on the right foot despite an unspectacular performance from Kobe Bryant.

Gasol recorded his first triple-double of the season and Odom added 15 points and 20 rebounds, powering the Lakers to a 96-83 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.

An All-Star center, Gasol had 12 points, 13 boards and 10 assists en route to his third career triple-double.

"I was a little aware of (the triple-double)," Gasol said. "I knew it was close because I knew I was rebounding well and getting my assists up. Guys were making shots off of my passes, so I was able to get it done."

Odom continued his stellar play in Andrew Bynum's absence, registering 17 or more rebounds for the fourth straight game for Los Angeles, which had a seven-game win streak snapped in its final game before the All-Star break, dropping a 113-109 decision to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

"That's a good way to score the ball, especially with the offensive rebounding," Odom said. "You get easy opportunities, and it keeps me involved in the game."

"(Odom) was big, being able to get them second-chance points," said Josh Smith, who was one of three Hawks in double figures with 13 points. "He's offensively skilled and as well-rounded offensively as the Lakers are. If you give them second-chance shots, it's going to be hard to beat them."

Bryant, who was named co-MVP during Sunday's All-Star Game alongside former teammate Shaquille O'Neal, was limited to just four points in the first half and a season-low 10 on 4-of-12 shooting in the contest. His rare off-night mattered little as the Hawks struggled to get anything going.

"We played a quarter and a half. And then they hit us in the mouth and we shut it down," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said.

Atlanta, which led by one point after the opening quarter, scored only 12 points in the second period, allowing the Lakers to put together a 15-4 run over the final 6:45 of the first half to carry a 45-36 lead into the locker rooms.

"We were still in the game. You hold them to 45 points going in at the half," Woodson said. "We come out in the third and we were flat. So flat to the point where when they hit us, we never responded."

The Hawks finished the game shooting 37 percent (31-of-84) from the field and watched their hopes of claiming a fifth win in six games disappear early in the third.

Los Angeles scored the first nine points of the half and used a 20-6 surge to open up a 65-42 lead with 6:40 remaining in the quarter. The Lakers scored 40 points in the third, carrying an insurmountable 26-point advantage into the final session.

"That's the way we wanted to start (the second half of the season), with a 'W', playing the right way, playing good basketball and playing defense," Odom said.

Atlanta hit only 2-of-15 3-pointers and were dominated on the glass, getting outrebounded, 74-47.

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