Lakers’ Lamar Odom has flu symptoms

There is, as they say, never a good time to get sick.

But not all sick days are created equal.

Especially when they occur during the NBA Finals. The Lakers’ Lamar Odom started feeling unwell on Saturday and his flu symptoms didn’t improve much in time for Game 5 on Sunday.

“I haven’t been sick all season … now I’m sick in the Finals,” said Odom after the Lakers’ 92-86 loss to the Celtics here in Game 5. “Had to put my hard hat on just to get out of bed. It was tough.

“I’m not feeling good, but I’m not making any excuses. I’ve just got to be ready to play.”

Odom played 26-plus minutes, scoring eight points and adding eight rebounds and had three turnovers. He checked into the game with 2:39 left in the opening quarter and picked up a foul just before the end of the quarter.

He lamented the way that particular play turned out, thinking it might have been a springboard toward better things.

“That was a tough call to call,” he said. “The first time I got the ball, I thought I was by [Glen] Davis and then I didn’t even see [ Paul] Pierce. I was in the air and it kind of slid under me. That would have got me going.”

Of the Lakers reserves, Odom was easily the most productive, which is not saying much. In Game 5, Jordan Farmar was 0 for 4 and had one point in almost 14 minutes. Shannon Brown played 19 seconds, and Sasha Vujacic was two for five and had five points in 10-plus minutes.

Luke Walton was scoreless in seven-plus minutes of action.

Odom is still searching for a true breakout game in the Finals. His best showing, thus far, came in Game 3, in which he shot five for five, scoring 12 points and adding five rebounds.

Though sick, Odom did see something in the form of a get-well remedy, namely getting on a plane and returning home to Los Angeles. Game 6 is Tuesday night.

“We get to go home and I’ll be in my own bed in my own house,” he said. “And get to see my wife.”

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