03/10/2011 - 07:21
LO is Ready for the Heat
Lamar Odom and the Lakers carry their longest winning streak of the season into a matchup everyone in the NBA will be watching tonight.
The Lake Show is in Miami to take on the scuffling Heat and both sides have plenty of reasons to be pumped for this one.
Lamar cuts between Atlanta's Joe Johnson and Josh Smith toward the basket during LA's 101-87 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night.
For Lamar, it's a chance to help avenge the Lakers' Christmas Day loss to Miami. The Package mustered 14 points and nine rebounds in the game, but the Lakers couldn't handle a streaking Heat team, losing 96-80.
The loss was part of a three-game losing streak for LA and a nine-game winning streak for Miami. But this time, it's the Lakers who are streaking hot and the Heat who are skidding, losers of their last five.
Los Angeles has won eight straight games, with No. 7 scoring at least nine points in every game during the streak. Their most recent win came against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
"It's just our time," Lamar said after the game. "You start to come together more as a team and that's where we're at as far as this part of the season where we're at right now. Our camaraderie, what we think about each other, how we feel about each other and how we all love to win is showing on the court."
LO dropped 12 points in the 101-87 victory on Tuesday, another sound shooting night for the Package who went 5-of-8 from the floor. The 62.5% was Lamar's best showing from the field in two weeks. It also helped him raise his season percentage from the field to 54.3, which ranks seventh in the NBA.
Andy Kamenetzky of ESPN LA's Land O'Lakers blog named Lamar as one of his highlights of the game:
LO poured in a dozen off the bench for solid support, highlighted by a sequence where he spun on Johnson, then went up-and-under against Smith for a layup.
No. 7 kicked off the game quick, scoring points on back-to-back possessions just a minute after coming off the bench.
Early in the second he did the same thing again, scoring buckets on back-to-back opportunities. No. 7 followed that up with two free throws to give himself 10 points in the first half.
Lamar's final points came on a jumper late in the third and his bucket put the Lakers up 22 going into the fourth quarter. He earned much of the final frame off, recording just a total of 25 minutes, while adding two boards and two assists.
The LA defense was also a huge factor in the victory, limiting Atlanta to just 84 points. It was the seventh time during the eight game win-streak that the Lakers have held their foe under 100. Only Portland has eclipsed the century mark during the streak, scoring 101 in an overtime game.
"Our defense is much better," LO said simply.
Lamar also told the Los Angeles Times that the recent string of wins is a testament to the Lakers staying humble and hungry.
"Our cockiness got in the way early in the season, Now we go into every game knowing if we do the right things as a team, we're going to win.''
Tonight, the Lakers will find out how far that confidence can take them.
Tip off between LA and Miami is at 4 p.m. PST and the game can be seen on TNT.
- Trap is set, but Lakers don't fall for it against Atlanta (Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2011)
- Lakers' message to Heat: Get it Together (OC Register, March 9, 2011)
- Streaking Lakers fly past Hawks (ESPN LA, March 9, 2011)
- Lakers stay hot as they get ready for Heat (OC Register, March 10, 2011)
- Lakers 101, Hawks 87: At the buzzer (ESPN LA, March 8, 2011)