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LAKER REPORT

Odom Says Don't Blame the Schedule

February 08, 2005|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

ATLANTA — The Laker schedule is difficult from now to the end, with many more stays in hotel beds the rest of the way than in recent seasons.

But the chance to complain was pushed aside Monday by forward Lamar Odom, who supplied the counter-argument for a finish that has the Lakers on the road for 22 of their last 36 games.

"Our schedule was favorable for us," Odom said.

"We were supposed to take care of business more at home.

"If we did that and won half our games on the road, we'd have been all right."

The Lakers are 17-10 at home, 7-12 on the road.

They are two-fifths of the way through their current trip and there is a six-game outing next month that includes a rematch with the Miami Heat, but Odom isn't buying the part about a rough ride.

Odom spent his first four pro seasons with the Clippers, who have more than their share of long road trips.

"Twelve- or 15-day road trips, four or five of them in a year," Odom said.

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Kobe Bryant took a private plane back to Los Angeles after the Laker game Sunday in Houston to be with his two-year-old daughter, Natalia, who had a 104-degree fever and was taken to an emergency room.

Bryant's daughter was given fluids intravenously and was close to a full recovery by the time Bryant rejoined the team Monday afternoon in Atlanta.

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Bryant, who has sat out 12 games because of a severely sprained right ankle, said the ankle is "real sore" and that "when it fatigues [during exercise], it hurts." Bryant, out since Jan. 13, said there was still no timetable for his return.... Center Chris Mihm did not score in 16 minutes against Atlanta, the third time this season he has been held scoreless.... The Lakers are 3-7 in the second game of back-to-back games, a fair indicator of a team's talent and depth. The Lakers were 10-9 in such games last season. The Lakers have consecutive road games Wednesday against New Jersey and Thursday against Detroit.

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