Janis Carr of the Orange County Register reports (via blog):

“The bench was fantastic.”

When was the last time anyone said that about the Lakers’ reserves? It’s been a while.

Certainly no one was talking up the Lakers’ bench after the accounted for 20 points (15 from Lamar Odom) in Tuesday’s 115-106 defeat in Game 4 that evened the Western Conference finals at two games a piece.

When asked if he thought his bench “got smoked”, Phil Jackson seemed to think it wasn’t all that bad.

“Well, it wasn’t a Cohiba, I’ll tell you that,” the Lakers coach said, referring to a Cuban-brand cigar.