Two out of (big) three aren’t good

Times Staff Writer

SAN ANTONIO -- Swiftly and decisively, the Lakers’ big three got reduced to a solo source.

Kobe Bryant scored 30 points Sunday night against the San Antonio Spurs, but that was it for meaningful output from the Lakers’ main resources.

Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom were noticeably erratic, Gasol missing 11 of 18 shots and Odom missing nine of 11 attempts.

Gasol had 15 points, Odom a lonely seven points.

Indeed, the Lakers’ frontcourt took a back seat in a 103-84 loss in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.


Not that the Spurs minded.

“We need that defensive effort on them to be able to have a chance in this series,” San Antonio forward Tim Duncan said. “We understand what Kobe is going to do. We understand his ability level and his ability to take over a game whenever he wants to.

“But we have to limit what Pau and Lamar do. We have to make their offense tough. We have to limit what they do on the glass, and that in itself makes what they do a lot tougher.”

Odom took the blame, saying there was “no way I could play like that” if the Lakers wanted to win.

Odom and Gasol had been in concert with each other almost since day one of Gasol’s arrival, successfully feeding off one another’s presence down low.

In fact, it was Odom who exclaimed, “The Beatles are back, baby!” when the Lakers acquired Gasol back in February.

There wasn’t much to celebrate after Game 3.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson attributed it to indecision.

“I think they weren’t decisive on what they wanted to get done,” he said. “They had their opportunities and missed some layups and things just didn’t go well.”


Odom had five turnovers and also missed five of eight free throws.

“Like they say . . . when it rains it pours, and tonight I guess it poured,” Odom said.


Lost among Bryant’s high-level play is the fact that he continues to play with a torn ligament in the little finger on his right hand.

He tapes it together every game with his right ring finger, and the injury will require surgery after the season, or perhaps after the Olympics.

“He banged it in the Utah series one time but it didn’t bother him the next [game],” Jackson said. “That was a couple weeks ago. It is generally in pretty good shape right now.”


Another Nike viral-marketing video featuring Bryant has appeared on YouTube.

In this one, he is shown jumping over a pool of snakes and dunking on a basket. Several members of the “Jackass” cast are also involved in the video.

Last month, Bryant was shown leaping over a speeding car and landing on his feet.

The videos were created by Nike to market the Hyperdunk shoe.


The Boston Celtics finally won a road game, winning in Detroit on Saturday after being 0-6 away from home in the playoffs. “They looked like they’re back to their normal self,” Jackson said. . . . Reserve center Chris Mihm is expected to rejoin the team today after staying in Los Angeles for Game 3 because of intestinal flu. Ira Newble took Mihm’s spot on the active roster for Game 3.