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Pau Gasol says he's healthy, ready to play against Hornets

April 22, 2011 |  2:03 pm

Photo: Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol, right reaches for a rebound along with New Orleans Hornets center Aaron Gray, left, during the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP
After conducting several interviews before the Lakers' shootaround Friday at New Orleans Arena, Pau Gasol was seen coughing several times.

Gasol hasn't played very well in the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets, so he was asked about his health.

"I'm fine," Gasol said, smiling. "I'm all right. Just ready to play."

Gasol and the Lakers will get a chance to show how ready they are for Game 3 of the best-of-seven series that's tied at 1-1 later Friday night.

He is four-for-19 from the field in the first two games.

"As long as the team wins, no matter if a guy is one-for-12 or 0-for-10, the team wins, the team wins," Gasol said.

In Game 2, Kobe Bryant decided on his own to defend Chris Paul.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was opposed to the idea, and he's not sure how much he wants Bryant on Paul in Game 3 tonight.

"That was not my game plan," Jackson said. "That's not what I wanted to do. It's what Kobe wanted to do and I allowed him to do that because of his desire. But that was not my intention to have him go guard Chris Paul. I thought it was too energy draining, too chasing around, too many screens and picks that he would be involved in."

Jackson said he's "not planning on starting" Bryant on Paul in Game 3, but that could change.

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from New Orleans

Photo: Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol, right, reaches for a rebound along with New Orleans Hornets center Aaron Gray, left, during the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP


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