by Tzvi Twersky

After playing a subpar set of games in L.A., games where he scored a combined eight points, dished out nine assists and amassed 10 fouls, Lamar Odom finally played the way the Lakers need him to.

Tuesday night, in nearly 28 minutes off the bench, Odom shot a perfect five for five, tallying 12 points and five boards in the process of helping L.A go up 2-1 in the best of seven series.

“[Lamar] got going,” said Phil Jackson when I asked about Odom’s play. “He had a kiss shot that went in off the backboard. That was a kind of gift from God to him for all that stuff he’s been through in the series.”

Until tonight, LO was the most dissed player in Finals, aside from maybe Kevin Garnett–who, coincidentally, also found his zone in Game 3. Lamar needed a big night to hush the haters, and that’s exactly what he had.

“[Lamar] just had one of those nights where he kept playing and things happened,” said Jackson. “He created things for himself, got an offensive rebound that was big at the end of the game, made a baseline drive that was another big basket for us in a critical situation.”

Welcome to the 2010 NBA Finals, Lamar. The Lakers have been missing you.