Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/28/13
It's been well documented how much Lakers forward Pau Gasol loves Los Angeles. He's been to Dodgers games and done various philanthropic efforts at local hospitals, but Wednesday night he enjoyed a first. Gasol visited the new Pauley Pavilion and took in what he says was his first college basketball game, a 79-74 overtime win for UCLA over Arizona State. Gasol attended the game with his Spanish National Team teammate and Minnesota Timberwolves point guard, Ricky Rubio, who is in town for Minnesota's game against the Lakers on Thursday night. Rubio, who recently came to Gasol's defense, saying "it seems like the Lakers don't want him," and adding that Gasol was "more than welcome" on the Timberwolves, watched alongside Gasol as his younger brother's team battled for a Pac-12 championship. The youngest of the Gasol's, Adria, is a walk-on freshman at UCLA. He's yet to make an appearance for the Bruins this season, who improved to 21-7 and 11-4 in Pac-12 play - now tied for first in the conference - on Wednesday night. The elder Gasol was without crutches on Wednesday. He was just one day removed from announcing on Twitter that he no longer needed the aid of crutches as he continues to rehab a torn plantar fascia in his right foot. On Tuesday, Gasol was cleared to work out on the elliptical machine. He's still believed to be at least three weeks away from a return to action but says "everyday is feeling better." The Lakers are still on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs but received some help in the form of losses to Houston and Utah on Wednesday night and are now 2.5 games out of the eighth spot. The upward climb will have to continue without Gasol, who's averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds per game. The Lakers are 5-4 in his most recent absence.
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