Originally written on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 10/21/14
The Lakers will most likely do whatever they can to trade Pau Gasol this summer in order to help keep their salary books under what is currently $100 million. Gasol knows it. But that doesn't stop him from giving his all on the floor for this team. In a crucial game against the Mavericks on Tuesday, Pau put on a defensive effort on Dirk Nowitzki that really set the tone for the Lakers' defense the entire night. Averaging 21.3 points on a 57.1% clip in the prior 10 games, Nowitzki was held to just 11 points on 4-out-of-13 shooting, including 1-of-3 from distance. The credit also goes to Earl Clark, who had himself a phenomenal game and was the biggest reason behind the Lakers' 7-0 run after Dallas used their own 11-0 run to cut their deficit to just 5 points in the 3rd quarter, but it was Gasol's intensity on the defensive end from tip-off that kept Nowitzki out of rhythm offensively. That is not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination despite Pau's similar height and length to Dirk — but especially when you consider that Nowitzki usually thrives in the 4th quarter. But since Gasol, who was playing just his 6th game back from missing 20 games due to his torn plantar fascia, never gave him a chance to get comfortable on offense, Nowitzki missed all 3 shots he took down the stretch when the Mavs needed him most. Even the very best defenders in the league know that stopping the best scorers in 2 consecutive possessions is extremely tough. But to keep a scorer like Nowitzki out of his element for 48 minutes in a must-win game, especially from someone who isn't known for his defense, is unheard of. Gasol has taken plenty of harsh criticisms from a lot of people the past couple of seasons. They thought that, along his declining physical traits, he had lost that hunger, that desire to win another title like he showed during the last 2 championships. For one night, at least, Pau gave Laker fans a glimpse of that old championship grit.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

Louisville Athletic Dept. asking for donations at gas pump

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.