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After another disjointed game, Lakers' Ron Artest says he feels 'comfortable'

Forward has only three points in only 26 minutes as L.A. loses to Indiana. His averages are down from last season in scoring, shooting percentage, rebounds and assists.

November 29, 2010|By Broderick Turner

Personally, Ron Artest said after the game, he feels great.

If he were on an "island fishing," Artest said, he would "feel great."

It's just that his game has not been so great for the Lakers this season. And there have been games when Artest has looked as if he is on an island, not quite connected with the rest of the Lakers.

Artest had another disjointed game Sunday night, scoring only three points, making only one of four shots, playing only 26 minutes 32 seconds in the Lakers' 95-92 loss to the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center.

"Last year, as you know, I had a lot of ups and downs," Artest said. "But one thing that always stays in front of me is that this is a team game. So, no matter how good I feel, I don't mind feeling uncomfortable for the win. I don't mind it. Sometimes I can't show, can't do things that I would like to do, like any kind would like to do.

"But that's not important. What's important is that we find a way to win."

But the Lakers haven't won their last two games, and Artest hasn't been at his best.

He scored 11 points in the loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

He missed his last two shots in that game, an awkward runner and a three-point attempt.

Artest's averages are down across the board this season.

He's averaging 8.5 points this season, down from 11 points last season.

He's making 39.2% of his shots this season, down from the 41.4% he made last season.

He's averaging 3.5 rebounds, down from the 4.3 he averaged last season.

He's averaging 1.8 assists, down from the 3.0 assists he averaged last season.

Still, Artest maintained that it's not about him finding his comfort level.

"I don't care about my comfort level. Honestly." Artest said. "I'm ready. But it's not about me being comfortable. It's not about my comfort level.

"We're blowing a lot of teams out early. I never play in the fourth quarter. So it's hard to judge me, really, what I'm doing. That's why I was talking before that I can't wait until we play some games like this [against the Pacers] so I have a chance to play in the fourth quarter."

Artest played 4:11 in the fourth and he made a big three-pointer with 2:43 left, pulling the Lakers to within 89-86.

He even got an offensive rebound late in the game off a missed Kobe Bryant three-pointer.

Artest dribbled the ball to the corner and passed the ball to Lamar Odom, who passed the ball to Bryant.

Bryant took another three-pointer that missed, sending the Lakers to defeat.

Even with that, as Artest walked off the court, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson asked his small forward why he didn't call a timeout.

"I asked him, 'Could everybody else on the court have called a timeout? Since I had the ball, could somebody else call a timeout?' " Artest said he asked Jackson. "And he said, 'Yes.' So, he forgot to address that with everybody. But that's OK."

Artest laughed.

As the interview came to a conclusion, Artest had one last thing to say about his comfort level.

"How do I be selfish, but at the same time listen?" Artest said. "So I feel comfortable. I'm sure he [Jackson] didn't want me to take that last three tonight. I just play. It's all about playing and trying to figure out a way."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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