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Lakers' Lamar Odom keeps running afoul of referees

The veteran forward is derailed by foul trouble for second straight game, fouling out of Lakers' loss to Phoenix with 8:31 to go after playing only 23 minutes and scoring four points.

March 02, 2009|Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner

PHOENIX — Kobe Bryant has a suggestion for Lamar Odom.

"Send the referees a bouquet of flowers," he said.

Odom has been short-circuited the last two games because of foul trouble, ending a productive stretch amid a series of whistles aimed in his direction.

He fouled out of the Lakers' 118-111 loss Sunday to the Phoenix Suns with 8 minutes 31 seconds to play.

He picked up his fifth foul with 8:43 left and the Lakers down, 96-92. He stayed in the game but was done for good 12 seconds later, his afternoon ending on an offensive foul after he briefly hooked his arm around Suns forward Louis Amundson while trying to get position down low.

Odom finished with four points, six rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes. Against Denver on Friday night, he had 12 points and five fouls.

"Lamar just really had an awful day," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Sunday. "There were a couple really bad calls against Lamar that limited his time."

Odom and Jackson were not enthralled with the calls Sunday.

At Odom's request, Jackson looked at the sixth foul on a replay in the Lakers' locker room after the game.

"It was a really bad call," Jackson said. "You're going to have situations like that where you have young referees that make calls that aren't good. You just have to live with it."

Said Odom: "There were about three or four calls. That's the way the ball bounces, two games in a row. I never really got to play."

Odom had been a key to the Lakers' success without Andrew Bynum, who is not due to return from a torn knee ligament until March 30 at the earliest.

Odom played poorly in the last two games, and the Lakers lost both. Coincidence?

"He'll be OK," Jackson said. "He'll get it back."

Shaq's back?

The Lakers got a taste of the newly forceful Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday, when the Suns center scored 33 points on 13-for-18 shooting.

That makes 78 points on 33-for-43 shooting in the last two games for O'Neal, who punished the Toronto Raptors with 45 points Friday night.

"That's what I do, bro," O'Neal said. "I've been doing that since 1992. If you don't believe me, Google me. Shaq. Shaquille. Big Cactus. Ugly. Whatever."

O'Neal laughed his normal big laugh, the one he unleashes when he thinks he is funny.

O'Neal, who'll turn 37 on Friday, became the fourth player in NBA history over 35 to score 33 or more points in consecutive games, joining Karl Malone, Alex English and Michael Jordan, the last to do it, in 2002.

"If I get the touches and get the ability to go to work, as well as keep my teammates involved, those are the numbers that you will see for the rest of my career," said O'Neal, who is averaging 18.1 points on 60.6% shooting and 8.8 rebounds in his 17th season.

Farmar foundering

It was a forgettable trip for Jordan Farmar. He had two points against Denver and was scoreless against Phoenix, making a combined one of seven shots in 27 minutes.

Said Jackson: "He's got to address his game a little bit to get back in rhythm and get confident back out there on the floor again so he's aggressive looking for his opportunities."


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