Farmar handles playoff pressure
By Rich Hammond Staff Writer
Inside SOCALArticle Last Updated:04/22/2007 10:40:59 PM PDT
PHOENIX - The pressure had never been more intense for Jordan Farmar, the minutes never bigger.
Farmar, the Lakers' newfound starting point guard, made his playoff debut Sunday and fared well for the most part, although he sat with foul trouble while the Phoenix Suns went on their game-winning charge.
In 31 minutes - three more than he played in any regular-season game - Farmar, the rookie out of UCLA, had nine points, two steals, two assists and one turnover.
The Lakers' problems came when Farmar left the game with 3:36 left in the third quarter after he picked up his fourth foul. With Smush Parker in the lineup, providing mostly inadequate defense against Leandro Barbosa and the Suns' backcourt, Phoenix turned a seven-point deficit into a two-point lead.
By the time Farmar returned, with 7:37 left in the game, the Lakers trailed by four.
Farmar acquitted himself well against two-time league MVP Steve Nash, who made only 7 of 17 shots from the field.
Lamar Odom needed five stitches over his left eye after the game. Odom took an elbow from Nash in the first quarter and missed two minutes as he had the wound bandaged.
This is the second consecutive year in which a Jackson-coached team has lost the first game of a series.
Jackson previously had a 14-0 record in playoff series openers.
Kwame Brown, expected to be a big part of the Lakers' game plan, took just six shots and scored four points. Jackson said Brown was taken out of the game early by a perceived non-foul, a missed dunk and a play that Brown believed should have been goaltending.