Los Angeles at New Orleans

Odom scores 24 as Lakers end three-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW ORLEANS -- Lamar Odom cruised into the lane on a fast break, put the ball behind his back and then bounced a finger roll off the back rim. Unfazed, he jumped to jam home the rebound.

The sequence sent Lakers teammates into giggling fits while New Orleans coach Monty Williams disgustedly called a timeout.

"It's funny that a play like that happens in New Orleans," Odom said. "Basketball is almost like jazz, right? Because if you make one move, you can take it to another move, but you never know which way it's going."

The looks of anger and frustration that characterized Los Angeles' recent three-game skid were history. A commanding 103-88 victory over the Hornets brought back the fun of the game -- perhaps more so for Odom than anyone, even though he found himself out of the starting lineup for the first time all season.

Coach Phil Jackson started Andrew Bynum in Odom's place.

"Some people could have took that personally," Odom said. "It didn't matter to me, honestly."

Odom responded to his season debut as a reserve by scoring a team-leading 24 points, the most by a Lakers player coming off the bench since Tierre Brown had 27 in February 2005.

Odom hit from a wide range of spots, even draining a casual, too-easy-looking 3-pointer as the horn sounded to end the third quarter.

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Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, Bynum had 18 and Pau Gasol added 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers snapped out a funk in which they had lost by 15 or more points in their previous three games.

"We played much better. We executed much better. Our defense did an excellent job," Bryant said. "Drew makes a big difference plugging up the middle, rebounding. He's moving better. ... He seems to be more stable, more active."

Odom had started all 31 of the Lakers' previous games. Bynum, who had played a reserve role in his first seven games since returning from knee surgery, started for the first time this season.

"We had three loses, so we might as well do it now if we are going to do it," Jackson said.

The Lakers' lineup shift produced a dominant performance in New Orleans, where the Hornets had been 13-3 coming in.

Chris Paul had 20 points and Marco Belinelli scored 15 for the Hornets, who lost their second straight by double digits after falling 113-98 at Minnesota two nights earlier.

"One day we're playing well and everybody is getting it going and the next day we could be somebody's little brother," Hornets forward Trevor Ariza said. "If we want to win and do something in this league, we can't be like that. ... We played really soft today. That's the bottom line."

It didn't help that David West twisted his left ankle late in the first half. He tried to play through it, but finished with only eight points in 28 minutes.

Los Angeles led by 20 late in the second quarter and stayed ahead by at least 20 for significant stretches of the second half. The Lakers shot 58.6 percent (41 of 70) for the game. Los Angeles also finished with a whopping 44-24 advantage in rebounds, and the Hornets' seven rebounds in the first half tied a Lakers all-time opponent-low for a half.

"We were overwhelmed," Williams said. "They are a great team and hit a lot of tough shots."

Energized by a boisterous, sellout crowd, the Hornets started respectably. Paul had 11 of his points in the first quarter to keep the game close. Gasol's 13-foot jumper gave the Lakers a 26-23 lead at the end of the period.

New Orleans started to unravel early in the second quarter with primarily reserves on the court.

Odom's layup as he was fouled ignited an 11-0 spurt during which Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher hit-back-to-back 3s before Fisher added a 22-foot jumper to push the Lakers' lead to 46-29.

Notes

  • Barnes was ejected by official Scott Foster for arguing a foul call with less than a minute to go in the game.
  • The Lakers' victory margin has been in double digits in 15 of their 22 wins this season.
  • This was the first meeting between the Lakers and Hornets teams this season. New Orleans will visit the Lakers on Jan. 7.
  • Announced attendance was 18,018, the Hornets' largest home crowd of the season.
  • The crowd included Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who is from New Orleans, and members of the Arkansas football team, who will play in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Lamar Odom responds in his season debut as a reserve and scores a team-high 24 points. (AP)
Lamar Odom responds in his season debut as a reserve and scores a team-high 24 points. (AP)

Scoreboard
L.A. Lakers (22-10) «26332420103
New Orleans (18-14)2318192888
LAL:L. Odom 24 Pts
LAL:P. Gasol 12 Reb
LAL:D. Fisher 8 Ast
NO:C. Paul 20 Pts
NO:E. Okafor 7 Reb
NO:C. Paul 7 Ast
Players of the Game
Los AngelesNew Orleans

Lamar Odom

Chris Paul
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
24522037
Los Angeles
P. Gasol, PF353-55-6125311
D. Fisher, PG314-60-02829
A. Bynum, C308-122-260218
K. Bryant, SG288-144-734520
R. Artest, SF282-42-25316
L. Odom, PF3110-153-352224
M. Barnes, SF202-50-07235
S. Brown, PG202-50-02026
S. Blake, PG172-40-02134
D. Caracter, PF10-00-00000
T. Ratliff, CDid Not Play
J. Smith, PFDid Not Play
L. Walton, SFDid Not Play
D. Ebanks, SFDid Not Play
Totals 41-7016-20442523103
 58.6%80.0% 
New Orleans
C. Paul, PG348-143-337220
M. Belinelli, SG334-166-710315
D. West, PF284-90-04218
E. Okafor, C285-80-071410
T. Ariza, SG241-22-20444
Q. Pondexter, SF242-42-23257
J. Smith, PF212-61-12115
M. Thornton, SG172-111-20015
J. Jack, PG144-63-521112
D. Mbenga, C131-20-02022
D. Andersen, C50-10-00020
M. Banks, PGDid Not Play
W. Green, SGDid Not Play
P. Mensah-Bonsu, PFDid Not Play
A. Gray, CDid Not Play
Totals 33-7918-2224182688
 41.8%81.8% 
Other Games
GS 93 Final
Atl 103
Ind 90 Final
Wash 104
Cle 92 Final
Char 101
Bos 92 Final
Det 104
Den 119 Final
Min 113
NJ 93 Final
OKC 114
Mia 125 Final
Hou 119
Phi 123 Final
Pho 110
Mem 98 Final
Sac 100
Utah 103 Final
LAC 95