Pau Gasol Is Tired Of Getting Benched In Close Games

pau gasol los angeles lakers 2012

[credit provider=”Harry How/Getty Images”]

Pau Gasol returned from injury last night in a 101-100 win against the Bobcats.He scored 10 points in 29 minutes. But once again he was benched with 2:35 left in the fourth quarter, which has become routine since Mike D’Antoni took over as coach.

After the game, Gasol spoke out about the benchings to Kevin Ding of the OC Register:

“When the game is on the line, I need to be on the court. That’s what I get paid to do.”

“Hopefully, that won’t happen too often.”

D’Antoni said he sat Gasol at the end of the game because he was tired, telling the LA Times, “I’m happy for Pau, it’s his first time back, the first five-eight minutes of each half he was really good, then he kind of went downhill when he got tired.”

Gasol’s numbers are down across the board this year, but he has historically been an effective crunch-time option for LA.