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Gasol fires on return as Lakers beat Bulls

PAU Gasol had 24 points and 13 rebounds in his season debut as the Los Angeles Lakers downed the Chicago Bulls 108-93 in the NBA yesterday.

Kobe Bryant added 21 points while passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the Lakers' career scoring chart.

The Lakers finally had their full starting lineup intact. The defending NBA champions had little trouble with the Bulls, opening a 20-point lead in the third quarter before beating them for the eighth time in nine meetings.

Derrick Rose had 20 points and John Salmons scored all 18 of his points in the first half for the Bulls, who lost on the second stop of a taxing six-game road trip.

With a free throw in the third quarter, Bryant passed Abdul-Jabbar (24,276) for second place on the Lakers' career scoring list, leaving him trailing only Jerry West (25,192).

Hornets 110, Suns 103

In New Orleans, Peja Stojakovic hit seven 3-pointers during a 25-point, 13-rebound performance in New Orleans' victory over Phoenix.

Devin Brown and rookie Marcus Thornton each scored 19 for the Hornets, who won their second straight under new head coach Jeff Bower.

The score was 96-96 when Stojakovic and rookie Darren Collison hit back-to-back 3s, and New Orleans held on from there.

Amare Stoudemire had 23 points for Phoenix.

Jazz 90, Spurs 83

In San Antonio, Deron Williams scored 21 points and Utah ended its decade-long misery in San Antonio.

Utah had not won a regular-season game in San Antonio since 1999, a losing streak that spanned 20 games. Paul Millsap added 20 points for the Jazz.

Tim Duncan scored 21 points, and he has seldom seen San Antonio struggle at the start of a season like this. The Spurs revamped their roster this summer, but they have their first losing record after 10 games since 1996.


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