02/09/2012 - 11:42
Mavs Snap Skid with Win in Denver
Lamar Odom has been hard at work on his game-day conditioning lately, and the Mavs are starting to reap the results.
Lamar had six points and five rebounds off the bench in the Mavs' 105-95 win last night (Getty Images).
In last night's 105-95 romp over the Denver Nuggets, LO came off the bench and gave the Mavericks a solid 19 minutes, during which he tallied six points on 3-for-7 shooting from the field. He also cleaned up the glass, pulling down five rebounds while dishing out two dimes.
"I liked some of the stuff that we did," teammate Dirk Nowitzki said of the win. "We rebounded the ball well. We outrebounded them 46-38 on the road, and that is definitely a plus when we do that. If we do that we always have a good chance to win."
Lamar's five rebounds on Wednesday were par for the course as of late, for No. 7, who averages 4.8 rebounds in his 21.3 minutes on the court. He has at least five boards in each of his last six games.
"I'm feeling better physically," Lamar said this week. "I'm pretty close,"
While outworking the Nuggets on the boards was key, Dallas' defense as a whole managed to hold the Nuggets, who led the NBA in points, fast break points, points in the paint and free throw attempts, to below their average in all four categories. The Mavs needed that solid defensive showing to counteract Denver's quick guards and uptempo style of play, according to head coach Rick Carlisle.
"This game was about our approach, our attitude and it was a big-time scramble game against the team that moves the ball better than any team in the league," he said of the team's win. "One of the big challenges tonight was to sustain our first-half effort and we did that. Second half was terrific and a lot of guys contributed."
LO's contributions to the cause came at opportune times. No. 7 entered the game with 5:31 to go in the first quarter and the Mavs leading by seven. Denver cut the lead down to five, only to have Lamar push it back to seven with a driving layup off a Vince Carter feed. LO also grabbed a rebound at the close of the quarter, setting up Ian Mahinmi for a basket to put the Mavs up by eight after one.
Lamar grabbed a steal and two more boards in the opening minutes of the second as Dallas pushed its lead to double digits. They led by nine when he checked out of the game and 11 at halftime.
The Mavs' edge ballooned to 17 points early in the third, but a 10-0 Denver run brought the hosts within seven of the lead. However it was LO who put an end to that run, knocking down a seven-foot banker with 1:02 to go in the third to make it a nine-point game.
He added another rebound at the close of the frame and Dallas took a nine-point lead to the fourth. No. 7 played more than half of the final quarter as Dallas pushed its lead back out to double digits. His jumper with 6:11 to go put the Mavericks up 12 and he grabbed his final rebound seconds later, before heading back to the bench as the Mavs rolled to a win.
Wednesday's win snapped the Mavericks' three-game losing skid, which included losses to the Thunder, Pacers and Cavaliers last week.
LO missed the game against OKC with a stomach bug, but returned to score six points, grab six rebounds and dish out three assists in the 98-87 loss to Indiana. The Pacers knocked down 12 threes in the game, shooting nearly 50 percent from deep, a key factor in the Mavs' loss according to Lamar.
"We didn't make them work hard enough," No. 7 said. "Things were too easy for them tonight."
One day later the Mavericks were in Cleveland where, despite a strong performance from an LO led second unit —the Mavs were +17 with No. 7 on the floor— they fell to the Cavs, 91-88. Lamar finished with seven points, five rebounds and three assists. After the rough weekend, LO said the Mavs were searching for their synergy.
"We haven't had collective energy," he said. "We are searching to find synergy and as soon as we find it we'll be alright."
They may have found it Wednesday with a victory that propels the team into a tough stretch of games with a win. It was Lamar's teammate Jason Terry that best summed up the team's feelings in regard to the next few weeks.
"This next stretch of games until the All-Star break could be our defining moment in our season," said Terry of the team's upcoming schedule against the Timberwolves, Clippers, Nuggets and Lakers. "You always look at a season and kind of map out what's going to be the moment, so to speak. And for us, I believe it's now until the All-Star Game."
The Mavericks could also get point guard Jason Kidd back during that stretch and Kidd, who has been watching intently from the sidelines, believes the Mavs are close to getting the real Lamar back too.
"We just need him to play his game," Kidd told ESPN Dallas. "It's going to take some time. I was in the same position. You want to make sure you don't step on anybody's toes. He has to understand that we're all here for him. We want him to be successful. It's easier said than done. When you look at the talent in this room and all the battles he's been in on the other side, you just want to fit in. We need him to be him. Again, it's just time. Unfortunately, with the shortened season, we don't have a lot of time."
LO and the Mavs head to Minnesota on Friday night to square off against the Timberwolves for the second time in two weeks. Dallas will be looking to avenge its 105-90 loss at home back on Jan. 25th. Tipoff is at 7 PM CT and the game can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest.
- Mavericks at Nuggets Box Score (NBA.com, Feb. 8, 2012)
- Dallas Mavericks @ Denver Post Game 26 Quotes "Yo Adrian - Pass!" (Mavs Moneyball, Feb. 9, 2012)
- Fresh Fit: Lamar Odom ‘pretty close' but far away (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Feb. 7, 2012)
- Mavs Donuts: Quoteboard From Denver (Dallas Basketball, Feb. 9, 2012)
- Courtside Live Blog Maverick 105 at Nuggets 95 (Mavs Fastbreak, Feb. 8, 2012)
- Pacers @ Mavs Post Game 24 Quotes "We were playing Lakers' Defense" (Mavs Moneyball, Feb. 4, 2012)
- Jason Kidd can relate to Lamar Odom (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 27, 2012)
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