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Odom, Gasol finish meekly

June 18, 2008|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Just as quickly as they arrived, the Lakers' big men disappeared in the NBA Finals.

After a Game 5 effort that helped push the series back to Boston, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom faded in Game 6.

In a decisive first half, Odom missed all four of his shots and would have been scoreless if not for making four free throws. Gasol was also unproductive as the Celtics took a 58-35 halftime lead, scoring six points and committing four turnovers.

Gasol and Odom were also the main reason the Celtics outrebounded the Lakers, 48-29. The Lakers did not have an offensive rebound in the first half. The Celtics finished with four blocked shots, the Lakers none.

Odom finished with 14 points, nine in a meaningless fourth quarter. Gasol had 11 points.

Afterward, when the Celtics had finished with a 48-29 rebounding advantage, Coach Phil Jackson said the Lakers needed to get more aggressive during the off-season.

"They overran us," Jackson said of the Celtics. "[Kevin] Garnett knocked Pau down in the lane and scored an easy basket in the first four or five possessions and set kind of a tone that they were going to establish an aggressive form, and we never met that energy all night. So we have to get some players if we're going to come back and repeat, to have that kind of aggressiveness that we need."

Gasol and Odom combined for 39 points, 24 rebounds, 14-for-20 shooting and six blocked shots in the Lakers' Game 5 victory.

In Game 6, they combined for 25 points, 18 rebounds, six-for-15 shooting and eight turnovers.

Another conspiracy?

A pro-Lakers theory was trotted out by Celtics Coach Doc Rivers before Game 6.

Rivers sarcastically offered a suggestion when asked about the Celtics' lengthy delay at LAX because of mechanical problems on the team charter the day after Game 5.

"Why don't you call Mitch Kupchak and Phil?" Rivers said, mentioning the Lakers' general manager and coach. "They'll probably tell you exactly what happened."

Reporters began to laugh.

"It was a long day, it really was," Rivers said. "I thought the funniest part of it is we get a call, we were supposed to leave at 11 [a.m.] and they called us at nine and told us we had to run to the bus because the first plane had broken down, so we were going to get on the other one that was leaving . . . And when we get there at the gate, we see the Laker plane taking off, and I was saying, 'Oh, this is nice.' "

The Celtics eventually arrived Monday night in Boston about four hours later than the Lakers.

It didn't matter. They still had no trouble with the Lakers.


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