Lamar Odom limped down the corridor inside Staples Center, his right foot sore and "burning" from the pain, his mental state one of disbelief because of a crucial technical foul called against him that his coach said "changed the context" of the game.
Odom had tried to do all he could to help the Lakers come back from a 13-point deficit, scoring 22 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and playing 42 minutes 20 seconds on a right foot that has bothered him for a while and that will require an MRI exam Monday.
Odom had just scored on a layup with 53.7 seconds left. It looked as if he had been fouled with both hands by Phoenix Suns forward Hedo Turkoglu.
The Lakers had cut the lead to 111-109 on Odom's play, and he and all of the Lakers believed there was going to be a chance for a three-point play.
Instead, Odom was called for a technical foul by referee Tony Brown for yelling after he had scored over Turkoglu.
Odom was shocked at the call.
The Lakers were shocked at the call so late in the game.
Steve Nash made the technical-foul free throw for a 112-109 lead the Lakers were never able to overcome in a 121-116 loss to the Suns on Sunday night.
"It looked like Turkoglu tried to foul me on purpose, I thought," Odom said.
Thinking that was the case, Odom said he turned to referee Ron Garretson and yelled, "and one," thinking a foul would be called.
Instead, Odom was called for a technical foul.
"And the ref off the ball called it," Odom said.
Odom said that he was talking to Garretson but that his reaction probably looked "more demonstrative" to Brown.
The NBA instituted a rule this season in which players will be given technical fouls for animated conduct.
"I was unhappy with the situation that happened with Lamar," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "I don't think the NBA wants that type of thing to happen. But that's part of the residual that's going to happen off this new policy that they have. It changed the context of the ballgame."
"That's one of those things where I think it's really tough for guys that show a little bit of emotion," Suns Coach Alvin Gentry said. "I don't know if that may have been the thing to do. But that's the rule. We've gotten hit by it a couple of games too."
Odom has been playing despite a bone bruise on the top of his foot.
He said it "burns" when he wakes up in the morning.
He is hoping that the MRI exam reveals nothing serious.
"It's been bothering me for a little bit," Odom said. "But I've been playing through it. It just caught up to me a little bit."
After he was hit with the technical foul, Odom said he asked Brown to explain why.
"He said something," Odom said. "But I won't repeat it because it might look like I'm coming at him a little bit. I don't want to do that. But I asked him because I thought I got fouled. He gave me an answer, but I won't repeat what he said."
Was the official's answer satisfactory?
"No," Odom said. "But it doesn't have to be satisfactory to me. You know what I'm saying? Who cares? He made the call and that's what it is."