Posts tagged Lamar Odom
The Lakers have called a press conference today to announce that Lamar Odom has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Odom had his best all-around season as a Laker in 2010-11, averaging 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists predominantly off the bench for the two-time defending NBA champs. He also shot career-highs of 53.0% from the field and 38.2% from the three-point line. Odom started 35 games in the absence of center Andrew Bynum, and is one of six Lakers to play in all 82 regular season games.
It’s the first major award for Odom, who came to the Lakers from the Miami Heat in the Shaquille O’Neal trade in 2004. Always one of the NBA’s most-versatle players, Odom was a starter his entire career before Phil Jackson asked him to move to the bench before the 2008-09 season. He has flourished in the role helping the Lakers win the last two NBA titles.
Odom also becomes the first Laker to win the award.
For the first 24 minutes of Friday night’s game in Utah, it seemed like the Lakers were destined to give back the game they gained from Thursday’s nights hard-fought victory against Dallas.
But these Lakers are just playing at a whole other level. The champs rallied from 17 points down, overwhelming the undermanned Utah Jazz in the second half, and scored a 96-85 at EnergySolutions Arena, their ninth straight win, and 17th in the last 18 games.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 21 points and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol each had 16. Gasol also added a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
Utah jumped on the Lakers early, led 26-13 in the first quarter, and then put together an 11-0 run in the second quarter to build a 41-24 lead. But that’s when the tide began to shift. Los Angeles fought back with an 18-7 run to close the half, and trailed just 48-42 at the break.
The second half was all Lakers, as Derek Fisher’s three-pointer finally got the Lakers even at 62 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter. Moments later they took the lead for good when Kyrylo Fesenko was called for goaltending on a Shannon Brown shot. The Lakers led 71-64 after three.
The lead stretched to 83-65 early in the fourth, and the Lakers held off the Jazz the rest of the way for what turned out to be a fairly easy victory. Los Angeles outscored Utah 52-35 in the second half.
Utah played without three of their key players, as Andrei Kirilenko, Devin Harris, and Raja Bell all missed the game with injuries. The Lakers played without Matt Barnes, who was suspended by the NBA for his role in Thursday night’s melee with Dallas.
C.J. Miles, who had been in a shooting slump, scored 13 points in the first half for the Jazz, and finished with a game-high 24. Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Milsap chipped in with 16 points.
The Lakers shot just 39.4% from the field in the first half, but finished the game at 47.9% (34-71). They also held the Jazz to 41.5% (34-82) from the floor, and 2-10 (20.0%) from the three-point line. The Jazz did outrebound the Lakers 44-39, including 15-6 on the offensive end, but held a much bigger advantage (28-18) at the end of the first half.
The win, combined with San Antonio’s sixth straight loss at Houston on Friday, brought the Lakers to within 1.5 games for first place in the Western Conference, with seven remaining. The Lakers’ current 17-1 record is the highest post-All-Star break winning percentage (.944) in league history. The Jazz are second, going 31-4 (.885) after the All-Star break back in 1997.
The loss eliminated Utah from the Western Conference playoff race, marking the first time a team started 15-5 and 27-13 and didn’t make the playoffs.
The Lakers now return home for a Sunday afternoon battle at Staples Center against the new-look Denver Nuggets, who have been playing very well since trading their superstar forward Carmelo Anthony last month. The two teams have split their two meetings this year, with the Lakers winning the last game 107-97 in Denver back on January 21.
Link: Lakers @ Jazz Box Score
The Lakers have won 11 of 12 games since the All-Star break, but Friday night’s win against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves may have been the toughest victory of the bunch.
The Lakers overcame Kobe Bryant’s struggles with his sore ankle, and Andrew Bynum’s fourth quarter ejection to beat the Wolves 106-98 at Staples Center.
Pau Gasol scored 25 points and four blocks on 12-17 from the field, as the Lakers battled back from an early 10-point deficit. Bryant struggled with his shot most of the night but did finish with 18 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Bynum had 10 points and 14 rebounds before he was tossed in the fourth quarter after a Flagrant 2 foul call on Michael Beasley.
Bynum, who again was dominant on the defensive end again, struggled a bit offensively and was clearly frustrated late in the game after missing a dunk and committing an offensive foul.
As Beasley drove to the rim, Bynum jumped up and threw out his hip and elbow into Beasley who went crashing to the floor, but did get up angrily very quickly. Bynum was ejected after officials checked the replay. Beasley made both foul shots, but left the game moments later with a sore hip. At the time the Wolves still held the lead.
Bryant who scored just six points in the first half, scored 12 in the second half, and hit some crucial jump shots late to get the Lakers back out in front. He didn’t start the second half, as it appeared he was getting extra work done on his sprained ankle during halftime. Shannon Brown started the third quarter and finished with 14 points off the bench.
With the Wolves clinging to an 89-88 lead, the Lakers went on a 12-6 run, highlighted by a Lamar Odom three-pointer with just over 1:30 left in the game that put the Lakers up by their biggest margin of the night 100-94. Minnesota could get no closer than five in the final minute as the Lakers extended their winning streak over the Timberwolves to 15 games. The Wolves haven’t beaten the Lakers since March of 2007.
For the game, the Lakers shot 47.6% (40-84) from the field, including 8-19 (42.1%) from beyond the arc. They held Minnesota to 44.3% (39-88) from the floor and just 7-21 (33.3%) from long range. The Wolves did win the rebound battle 45-44, but actually held a double-digit rebound lead early in the game.
Wesley Johnson led all scorers with 29 points on 11-21 from the floor for Minnesota. Michael Beasley had 18 points and seven rebounds before he left the game, and Kevin Love tallied another double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
The win put the Lakers in sole position of second place in the Western Conference at 49-20, one full game ahead of Dallas, who lost to San Antonio 97-91 on Friday.
The world champs continue their seven-game homestand on Sunday night against the surging Portland Trail Blazers. Los Angeles has beaten Portland twice already this season. They could however be without the services of Bynum, who may face a league suspension for his flagrant foul on Beasley. That could pose a problem against the suddenly very big and healthy Trail Blazer team.
Ray Allen may have gotten the biggest cheers for his record-setting night, but Kobe Bryant got the last laugh, as the Lakers rallied from 15 points down to beat the Boston Celtics 92-86 at the TD Garden on Thursday night.
Bryant scored 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers avenged a very poor 109-96 loss they suffered against the Celtics two weeks ago at Staples Center.
The game got off to a rocky start for the the champs, as they shot poorly early, and Ray Allen torched them for 12 points in the first quarter, including his 2,561st three-pointer that put him past Reggie Miller as the league’s all-time leader in field goals beyond the arc. But Allen struggled after the first quarter, as the Lakers worked hard to run him off the three-point line, and he finished the game with 20 points but just 3-8 from deep.
The Lakers trailed 37-22 early in the second quarter, before the bench helped to chip away at the lead led by Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown. A 10-0 spurt late in the quarter pulled the Lakers to within eight at 53-45 at halftime.
In the second half, the Lakers again had a 10-0 run to start the half, and took their first lead of the game at 61-60. The teams went back and forth for most of the third quarter, with the Lakers holding a slim 72-68 going into the fourth quarter.
With Bryant on the bench to start the fourth, Lamar Odom hit a three-pointer, Brown followed up a miss with a wild putback to give the Lakers a 77-68 lead. The Celtics put their starters back in, and got the game to within 82-79, but Bryant hit several crucial baskets down the stretch, including a 12-footer with 54 seconds left that sealed the win.
The win was easily the Lakers’ biggest of the season, as they have struggled both home and away with the league’s elite teams. The Celtics did play without Shaquille O’Neal again, and lost Nate Robinson early in the game, but did have their four All-Stars.
Pau Gasol rebounded from a poor performance against Boston in the last meeting, to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds. Andrew Bynum was a force down low on both sides of the ball, scoring 16 points to go along with nine rebounds. Shannon Brown had 12 off the bench, and Lamar Odom chipped in with 10 points and a game-high 12 boards.
The Lakers managed to shoot a solid 47.9.% (35-73) from the floor, and outrebounded the Celtics 47-36. Boston, who is the only NBA team that shoots over 50% from the floor, were held to 40.2% (33-82) from the field and just 5-16 (31.3%) from the three-point line. Los Angeles also had 20 assists in the game, doubling the paltry 10 they had in the first meeting.
Besides Allen’s 20 points, Paul Pierce had 15 points on just 6-15 from the floor, Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 10 assists, and Kevin Garnett added 10 points and 11 rebounds, but hit just 4-13 from the floor.
The Lakers are now 3-0 on their current seven-game road trip, but are in the midst of playing four games in five nights. They play tomorrow night in New York against the Knicks, for the team’s second and final meeting this season. The Lakers won the first match up easily 109-87 at Staples Center back on January 9th. Bryant led the way that night with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.