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Lakers reserves spark turnaround against Bulls

Odom, Brown and Farmar help change momentum in Lakers' road victory.

December 17, 2009|By Broderick Turner

Reporting from Chicago — The Lakers had lost the momentum at the end of the third quarter, now trailing by one point, getting outscored, 25-18, by the Chicago Bulls in the quarter.

But there was no need for Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to panic, not as long as he had reserves Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar prepared to deliver.

That threesome helped to change the momentum around, swinging it in the Lakers' favor in the fourth quarter, which played a big role in the Lakers' 96-87 victory over the Bulls Tuesday night at the United Center.

"It's important for us, for the bench guys, to do exactly that," Odom said. "Just create momentum, defensively especially. It's important for us to do that."

Odom, Brown and Farmar combined for 24 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocked shots.

They were most impressive in the fourth quarter, combining for 11 points, six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.

"I think tonight was an example of our depth," said Odom, who had nine points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

Odom, Brown and Farmar started the fourth quarter along with starters Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest.

The Lakers trailed, 73-72, entering the quarter.

After an Odom rebound, Brown made a three-pointer off a pass from Odom for a 75-73 Lakers lead.

Farmar got a steal and fed the ball ahead to Brown for a dunk that gave the Lakers a 77-73 lead.

After the Bulls scored, Farmar made a 20-foot jumper off a pass from Bynum, giving the Lakers a 79-75 lead.

That kept the Lakers from relinquishing the momentum.

"We want to play well when we're out there," said Farmar, who had six points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals.

"If we're down, we want to come back and take the lead or extend it. We want to play well. We want to get our hands on a lot of balls, get deflections. I think we did a good job."

Late in the game, when the Lakers couldn't quite put the Bulls away, Odom came up with two big plays.

Odom grabbed an offensive rebound off a Kobe Bryant missed shot.

Odom noticed the 24-second clock winding down and threw up a short shot that went in for a 90-82 Lakers lead late in the fourth.

"I couldn't see the exact number [on the 24-second clock], but I knew it wasn't a lot," Odom said. "I just tried to put the ball back on the rim. But I was just hoping to turn around and get a good look."

Bryant, who had 42 points but also eight turnovers, turned the ball over on consecutive plays late in the game.

The Lakers were up by six points at this time, but the Bulls were looking to cut into that lead.

They had been working the Lakers over on the backboard, outrebounding them 51-37. The Bulls had 22 offensive rebounds.

With 1:31 left and the Lakers leading 90-84, Odom ran down a loose-ball rebound. Unable to control the ball, Odom threw it off Luol Deng out of bounds.

Lakers ball.

It eventually led to a left-handed shot by Bryant that gave the Lakers a 92-84 lead with 39.2 seconds left.

"It was just a hustle play," Odom said.

Brown, who grew up in Chicago and had a chance to play in front of family and friends, didn't miss any of his four shots.

He also had one rebound, one steal, one blocked shot and another dunk.

"We rebounded the ball and we got out and we put a little pressure on their defense by getting out and running our break," Brown said. "We got some great opportunities and we capitalized on them.

"Also, the good thing about us being out there at the same time, any of us can play either position. We can have me and Jordan at the top, or LO or Jordan at the top. We can switch it around. It's like a good flow for us."

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