Around the World (Wide Web): Lakers/Suns Reactions

Phillip Barnett —  March 23, 2011

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Lamar Odom (Save the Absolutely Inexcusable Last-Second Foul on Channing Frye in OT… see below). From a more macro view, when the Lakers re-signed Lamar Odom a couple of summers back, it helped bring last year’s title and may very well have unknowingly aided in perhaps the greatest flurry of movement in high-end player talent the league has ever seen. In the micro, having Odom around came in awfully handy Tuesday night. With Andrew Bynum serving the second game of his two game ban, L.O. was a monster all over the floor. Odom was inside; he was outside. He ran the floor, he scored and distributed. And while was the jumper working — Odom had everything working, really — as his shot chart indicates, he was extremely effective getting himself to the bucket.

From Michael Schwartz, Valley of the Suns: There’s a reason they call this time of year March Madness. The Suns and Lakers played a game as wild as anything we saw in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, with the Lakers finally prevailing 139-137 in triple overtime of a contest neither team deserved to lose. In a game of twists and turns, this one turned definitively when Grant Hill fouled out with 2:18 remaining in the third overtime after committing his second foul of the possession in a span of 12 seconds defending Kobe Bryant with the Suns up two. After a very physical trio of overtimes in which the refs really let both sides play, I was shocked that they would foul Hill out on a play with a minuscule bit of body contact that happens on every play that was followed by a Kobe dive into the baseline for dramatic effect.

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen and Roll: I needed that game.  I think we all did.  After the traveshamockery that was the first game of TNT’s special Tuesday night doubleheader, the NBA needed this, and I for one was glad that went on as long as it did.  I wanted overtime when the score was tied at the end of regulation and the Phoenix Suns had the final shot.  I wanted triple overtime when Pau Gasol was fouled with 2.5 seconds left and the Los Angeles Lakers down two.  But I also wanted double overtime when it was the Lakers who were up three and Phoenix needed three clutch free throws from Channing Frye on a semi-questionable shooting foul.  I’m happy the Lakers ended up victorious, but I spent much of the evening simply rooting for more.

From Rey-Rey, The No Look Pass: Yes, the 139-137 final may indicate that the defense was porous in this contest. But you know what? Isn’t this what basketball is all about? Awesome shooting from both sides. Great plays by both teams. And there are even some defensive gems that can be found in this triple-overtime thriller. Sure, there are bonehead plays from time to time but put this all in one nice little package and it was the best game that I have watched this season. Let me break it down into different topics. THE NUMBERS: Laker shooting? 53/120 (44.2 percent). 120 FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS. Phoenix shot 51/106 (48.1 percent). Both teams combined to shoot 68 3-pointers! Suns were 17/41 (41.5 percent) while the Lakers (who are not a good 3-point shooting team) shot 11/27 (40.7 percent). But Vince Carter (who missed two key three-pointers down the loooong stretch) went 2 for 13. Ouch.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The longest, wildest night of the NBA season began with Lamar Odom racing through the corridors of Staples Center just after 6 p.m., a shoelace untied, trying to beat the clock and not be counted by the Lakers’ coaches as being tardy. Odom being Odom, as he ran past my left shoulder toward the Lakers’ locker room, he reached around to tap me on the right shoulder in the age-old joke trying to get me to look the wrong way. Odom wasn’t running as he walked out of the arena at nearly 11:30 p.m. Tuesday – his personal season-high 29 points scored, a Lakers season-high 55 minutes logged and one colossal blunder in Overtime No. 1 having not cost the Lakers a game that went all the way to Overtime No. 3.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Lamar Odom carried the Lakers pretty far, although not to the finish in just the fourth triple-overtime game in Los Angeles Lakers history. In the end Tuesday night, Kobe Bryant had the 107th game of his career with at least 40 points – although just the third this season – and Ron Artest rose up with four consecutive points late for the Lakers to secure their 13th victory in 14 games since the All-Star break. It was one of the thrilling games of the NBA season, the Lakers prevailed, 139-137, with clutch free throws on both sides propelling the game into a third extra session. The only other home triple-overtime game in Los Angeles Lakers history came in 1969.Bryant wound up with a season-high 42 points on 15-of-31 shooting despite his sprained left ankle. Artest had 18 points, Pau Gasol 24 and Odom his season-high 29 as the Lakers survived the second game of Andrew Bynum’s two-game NBA suspension.

From Mark Medina, LA Times: The crowd gasped in frustration, pleading for Lakers forward Ron Artest not to shoot the wide-open three-pointer. He did anyway. The shot dropped in the bucket, gave the Lakers a three-point lead in the first overtime Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns and the 18,997 at Staples Center reacted hysterically. In return, Artest blew kisses in the air, soaking in all the adulation. The image surely represents the never-ending anxieties and fickle relationship Laker fans have with Artest, swinging in frustration over his trigger-happy tendencies and distracted persona to admiration for his fearless mindset and goofball behavior. But the latter image was present all night long in the Lakers’ 139-137 triple overtime victory Monday over the Phoenix Suns, a performance that featured Artest scoring seven of his 18 points on seven of 14 shooting and one of his three steals in extra regulation with funny antics along the way.

From Broderick Turner, LA Times: Ron Artest blew kisses to the crowd in the first overtime after his three-pointer gave the Lakers a 119-116 lead. Artest kissed his biceps after his steal led to his dunk and a 135-132 Lakers lead in the third overtime. Get the picture? Artest was animated during the Lakers’ 139-137 triple-overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night at Staples Center. Why? “I kind of knew what the outcome was going to be, so I was relaxed” Artest maintained. “We talked about it.” It figures Artest would talk this way, because only he can sum up his play that way. Artest had seven points during the overtimes, three in the first OT and four in the third, all of them important.

UPDATE: From ESPN Stats & Information, TrueHoop: The Lakers last won a game of at least three overtimes on December 8, 1961, when they defeated the Philadelphia Warriors 151-147 in triple overtime. Tuesday marked the first time that Los Angeles ever won a triple-overtime game at home. The only time that the Lakers had even played such a home game was a 122-117 loss to the San Francisco Warriors in 1969.

UPDATE #2: From Trey Kirby, The Baskeball Jones (with video): According to, this is why guys kiss their arm muscles: “It really is to show off. There is no reason to do it. They just like showing that they are big, and strong, and powerful. Etc.” So true. Trust me. But another good reason to do it is to celebrate the biggest of your four measly dunks of the season. It’s like Ron Artest had been waiting all this time and lifting all those weights, just so when the moment struck he’d be ready. Totally worth the wait.

Phillip Barnett