Odom's effort locks Lakers' win

With stellar Game 1 performance, Lamar Odom shows why Lakers need him

Updated: May 18, 2010, 8:44 AM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- It was one of those games that Lamar Odom seems to churn out once every spring for the Lakers, ensuring up to six more weeks of the postseason.

The timing of spring's arrival is said to be based on whether the groundhog sees his shadow, but Odom's spring statements prove beyond a shadow of a doubt just how valuable he is to his team.

Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Monday belonged to Odom long before Kobe Bryant made it seem like he was a spokesman for rejuvenation ...

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