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Sunday, January 16, 2011
Lamar Odom on his scrap with Blake Griffin

By Brian Kamenetzky

Toss out a Shannon Brown layup at the buzzer important to nobody outside Vegas, and the Lakers were outscored by 16 points over the last 7:20 of Sunday's loss to the Clippers.

It was hardly ignored, but to some degree the collapse will get a little less press thanks to the dust-up between Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin with five seconds left in the game, a barking match escalating into a scrum-n'-bark when Baron Davis sprinted down from the top of the key to stick up for his guy. In the end, those three- plus Ron Artest in a clear miscarriage of justice- were all sent to the showers with a slight head start over their teammates. No word if they bogarted the hot water.

After the game, Odom explained why he took exception to Griffin's play, while acknowledging he very well may have overreacted.

Kobe Bryant didn't have a problem with Griffin's work in the final seconds. "It's just the right thing to do, you have to play all the way through. You play til the final buzzer sounds. That's the way I grew up playing," he said. To some degree, at least in his mind, that's what Odom was doing, sticking up for himself through a full 48, even if in the end admitting it wasn't necessary.

And to his credit, Artest refused to engage in any debate despite essentially being T'd and tossed for being Ron Artest. "The refs have got a hard job. I'm not a ref so [I can't say.] My job is hard. I guess your job is pretty hard. It's not as easy as some people might think it is. They think they can do it, but at the end of the day they can't do it. So the refs have a hard job. So I'm [not going to criticize]."