02/15/2012 - 11:48
Mavs Drop Clips For Fifth Straight Win
The Dallas Mavericks are rolling and to Lamar Odom, that's all that matters.
But LO has found a comfort zone too and the Mavs are benefiting from his success.
LO and the Mavs are rolling, winners of five straight after a 96-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday (Getty Images).
Lamar was able to replicate the success of his strong showing on Saturday night in the Mavs' Monday night win over the LA Clippers. No. 7's nine-point, three-assist and three-rebound performance propelled the Mavs to a 96-92 victory over a strong Los Angeles team, and allowed his team to avenge a last-second road loss to the Clippers on January 18.
"Lamar Odom is doing a really nice job for us right now," Coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. "The way he's fitting into our team now is important and it's meaningful, and we need him."
After pitching in during each of the first three frames, Lamar sat out the fourth as the Mavs starters closed out the win. But, unselfish by nature, LO told reporters after the game that he's happy with his role and even happier to bring a winning streak to Dallas.
"I'm all about the W in this stage of my career," he said. "The game of basketball is sometimes based on relationships. I'm developing that. That will always be a work in progress. I understand that this a different situation. One of the biggest differences is that I'm not closing games out. I closed games out in LA. Here I know that Dirk and Marion are the likely closers, and I respect that."
The Mavs jumped out to a lead early in the first behind their starters and the reserves held it through the second quarter with the help of four points in the quarter from LO.
After heading back to the bench midway through the second, Lamar returned late in the half when Nowitzki picked up his third foul.
No. 7 came up big in Nowitzki's stead and his runner with 36.8 to go in the field half gave Dallas an eight-point lead at the break.
With LO back on the bench to start the third, the Mavs appeared to lose some steam. By the time he re-entered the game with 4:35 to go in the third, their lead was down to three and shortly thereafter, Dallas found themselves behind.
But Lamar knocked down a three to tie the game with 2:33 to go. After a Caron Butler trey put Dallas back behind by three, LO sank two free throws to make it a one-point game.
He grabbed a board with 1:44 to go, leading directly to a Vince Carter trey, which put the Mavericks in front by two with 1:36 left in the quarter.
Carter talked on Tuesday with Ben and Skin on KESN-FM 103.3 about the bond he shares with LO and how they both see the game.
"He loves to win and he takes it personal. We talk all the time on the bench. Motivate each other. He's a great guy. He's a champion. He knows how to win. He's very vocal in the locker room. Through all his tough times, and him trying to get back into it, he's still very vocal in the locker room. That means so much.
"Now, he feels a part of it. It's a family. We believe in him. We've all hated him for what he's done to our teams with his ability to run the point/forward and do so many things. You see flashes of it and it makes us all feel good."
In the final seconds of the third quarter, LO showed one of those flashes of brilliance when he combined with Brandan Wright to serve up the highlight of the night. Lamar stood at the top of the arc with the ball in one hand after Carter passed out of a double team. Meanwhile, Wright cut to the basket, took a one handed lob from LO and slammed it home to put Dallas in front by one. The play fired up the Dallas crowd with 56.8 seconds remaining in the third.
Behind the expert passing and clutch shooting of the team's other veterans, Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, the Mavs were able to hang on for the 96-92 victory over the LA Clippers. Monday night's win marks the 10th straight for the Mavs over the Clippers in Dallas, extending a streak spanning more than five years.
"I think everybody is getting in shape, playing together, learning how to play off each other," Lamar said. "My body is starting to getting under me. I feel like an athlete again."
Lamar and the Mavs will spend another night in Dallas as they take on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday evening before heading to Philadelphia to square off against the Sixers on Friday.
Denver has lost seven of 10 while the Mavs are smack dab in the middle of a hot streak, having won five in a row. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 on Fox Sports Southwest.
- Recap: Clippers 92 at Mavericks 96 (Dallas Mavericks Post Game Report, Feb. 13, 2012)
- LA Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks Post Game 29 Quotes (Mavs Moneyball, Feb. 12, 2012)
- LA Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks Box Score (NBA.com, Feb. 13, 2012)
- Tuesday Donuts: Mavs-Clippers Quoteboard (DallasBasketball.com, Feb. 14, 2012)
- Lamar Odom can be key as an 8th man (ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth, Feb. 15, 2012)
- Vince Carter on Lamar Odom (Dallas Morning News, Feb. 14, 2012)