Update: The Houston Chronicle reports that (F) Ron Artest is expected to return to action tonight vs. the Houston Rockets. His return is needed as (F) Lamar Odom is questionable with an intestinal flu, and (F) Pau Gasol is doubtful with a strained hamstring.
Update: ESPN Los Angeles reports that Lakers star PF Pau Gasol has a strained hamstring and will undergo further testing on Monday.
Fantasy Impact: Gasol has performed spectacularly this season, stabilizing the Lakers’ frontline with 17.3ppg and 12.0rpg. Remember that Gasol missed the first 11 games of the season with a strained right hamstring. Although this injury is unrelated (left hamstring), look for him to miss some games. Pick up the surging (F) Lamar Odom and expect solid returns.
Update: According to the Phoenix (AP)-The Suns reserves outscored their counterparts 52-31 to help Phoenix rout the reigning NBA champions 118-103 on Monday night. Amare Stoudemire(FC) scored 26 points and Jared Dudley(F) matched his career best with 19 for the Suns. Bryant had 34 points but sat out the final 7:50 when the game was deemed out of reach by coach Phil Jackson. Steve Nash(PG) had 16 points and 13 assists for the Suns, who led by as many as 12 in the second quarter, 19 in the third and 22 in the fourth to improve to 12-2 at home.
Update: According to the Los Angeles (AP)-Despite that bit of surreality in response to the officiating of a physical game, the Cavaliers were hands-down better than the defending NBA champions in a 102-87 victory on Friday night. Mo Williams(PG) scored 28 points and LeBron James(SF) added 26, while Shaquille O’Neal(C) had five dunks among his 11 points in his latest Los Angeles return.
Update: According to the Los Angeles Times-Team is set to announce that the forward has signed a three-year deal through the 2013-14 season that could be worth $64.7 million. The sides agreed to terms late last week, but Gasol had to return home with the team and pass a physical exam before signing an extension worth up to $64.7 million, depending on NBA salary-cap figures to be determined in 2011. Gasol made the All-Star team last season and could do it again this season, averaging 17.1 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists a game before Tuesday.
Update: According to the Los Angeles (AP)-Kobe Bryant(SG) scored 40 points for the sixth time this season, and the NBA-leading Lakers shook off a rough first half before hanging on for their 16th victory in 17 games, 111-108 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. Bryant persevered through a scary stumble, an elbow to the jaw and a night of tough defense from Kevin Durant(SF) and the Thunder, who came agonizingly close to a breakthrough win against the defending champions.
Update: According to Aron Phillips over at Dime-I don’t need to tell you that Ron Artest quotes are pure nuggets of gold, but sometimes they just blow me away. He’s the equivalent of @RevRunWisdom, with hundreds of thousands of people eagerly awaiting his gospel. Today’s potent quotable concerns Ron’s teammate Kobe Bryant, and the two amazing performances he turned in last week after fracturing a bone in the middle finger of his shooting hand.
Update: According to the Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP)-Kobe Bryant(SG) scored 28 points and helped the Lakers build a big lead in a 93-81 victory over Detroit on Sunday night. Andrew Bynum(C) scored 16 points, Ron Artest(GF) had 14 points and a season-high nine assists, and Pau Gasol(FC) added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers. Rodney Stuckey(PG) scored 16 points, Swedish rookie Jonas Jerebko(F) had 15 and rookie reserve Austin Daye(F) added 10 points for the Pistons, who have lost four straight after winning five in a row.
Update: According to the East Rutherford, N.J. (AP)-Kobe Bryant(SG) had 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 103-84 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night in a matchup of the NBA’s best and worst teams. Pau Gasol(notes) had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who improved to 21-4 heading into the finale of their five-game trip that ends Sunday in Detroit— provided they can fight their way through a winter storm to get there on time. Lamar Odom(F) added 14 points and 12 boards.
Update: According to the Milwaukee (AP)—Kobe Bryant(SG) reverted to an old habit when he missed a potential game-winning shot. Given a second opportunity, he stuck with the change he’s made since breaking his right index finger. Bryant hit a 15-footer as time expired and scored the game’s final seven points over the last 1:18 of overtime to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 107-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.