Lamar Odom finally gets it going in Game 3
Reporting from Boston -- Lamar Odom wanted this game, needed it badly.
Then it finally happened for the Lakers’ reserve forward.
“He got going,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.
Odom had more fouls (10) than points (eight) in the first two games of the NBA Finals, but emerged with decisively better balance in Game 3, scoring 12 points on five-for-five shooting in 28 minutes of the Lakers’ 91-84 victory Tuesday over the Boston Celtics.
Odom wasn’t entirely in the clear in the foul department, finishing with four, but he didn’t care. In fact, he was actually upset.
“Five rebounds is weak,” he said.
But he made all five of his shots, a reporter countered.
“I’d rather have 10 rebounds,” he said.
Odom was important in the fourth quarter as the Lakers frantically tried to stay ahead of the Celtics.
He took an offensive rebound and banked in a seven-footer with 7:37 to play, giving the Lakers a 72-69 lead, and drove around Glen Davis for a layup and 80-76 lead with 3:45 left. He might have had help from above on that first shot, Jackson said.
“He had a ‘kiss’ shot that went in off the backboard,” Jackson said. “That was kind of a gift from God for him for all that stuff he’s been through in the series.”
Celtics fans tried just about everything, some of them donning paper masks of his wife, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian.
“That was crazy, right?” Odom said, smiling. “They were trying to run me off my game.”
Either way, Odom earned his improved effort.
“He just had one of those nights where he kept playing and things happened and [he] created things for himself,” Jackson said.
Celtics Coach Doc Rivers wasn’t thrilled about the difference in fouls in Game 3.
The Celtics were called for 27 fouls, the Lakers only 20. Each team was awarded 24 free-throw attempts, but Rivers was irritated Paul Pierce had to leave the game for a little more than three minutes after picking up his fifth foul with 11:21 left in the fourth quarter.
“I thought some of the fouls hurt us tonight,” Rivers said. “You know, Paul, every game we’ve had one of our top players in foul trouble. Maybe I should start complaining about fouls. Maybe I can get a turnaround like it was turned around tonight. That was amazing.”
Rivers was referring to Jackson’s comments after Game 2 in which the Lakers’ coach said calls that put Kobe Bryant in foul trouble were “unusual calls.”
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