HOUSTON — As expected, Lamar Odom drew a one-game suspension without pay for leaving the bench area during an altercation between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Odom will sit out Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets and then return to play with his teammates Thursday in San Antonio.
Odom was on the bench when teammate Trevor Ariza was charged with a flagrant foul against Portland’s Rudy Fernandez. Odom left his seat and took several steps toward the ensuing fracas that broke out. He attempted to play the role of peacemaker before assistant coach Kurt Rambis pushed him back toward the bench. Under league rules, players cannot leave the bench area to join an altercation under any circumstances.
Ariza was ejected from Monday’s game, but escaped further punishment by the league.