Reporting from Houston – When Lamar Odom looked ahead to the five-game trip the Lakers were about to embark upon, he decided it was time for him to raise his level of play.
In his mind, it was time for him to become more focused, to become more of a factor offensively and to give the Lakers more.
Saturday night against the Houston Rockets, Odom had another solid game in helping the Lakers win, 109-101, at the Toyota Center.
He produced another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
He was five for nine shooting from the field. He had three assists and one blocked shot.
"I don't know if I was looking to do it, but I knew what I was going to do," Odom said about his improved play on the road. "Not to be cocky, but I'm in shape. I'm feeling good."
In the first three games on this trip, Odom has been big for the Lakers. He is averaging 15.6 points and 11 rebounds. He's shooting 46.5% from the field.
"I'm feeling good about my shot," Odom said. "Except for tonight, I'm feeling good about my free-throw shooting."
Odom was three for six from the free-throw line against the Rockets. He is six for 10 from the line on this trip.
"In the last 30 games, I've been a lot more consistent," Odom said. "I'm just trying to get it done for us."
Odom has been dealing with a shoulder problem. His left shoulder has been flaring up again on this trip, but he has refused to take any time off.
The Lakers are already without center Andrew Bynum, who is out because of a strained left Achilles' tendon.
Odom is starting at power forward while Pau Gasol has moved over to the starting center spot.
Late in the fourth quarter, Odom was fouled hard by Jordan Hill, who knocked Odom to the court.
"On that last play, I almost hurt it a little bit, on that play I got fouled on," Odom said. "But, it is what it is, you know? I don't try and think about it too much."
Odom will play through the pain. He will deliver whatever the Lakers want from him.
"I feel like if the defender is too big, I'll shake him," Odom said. "If he's too small, I'll post him. You pick. However do you want it?"
Odom laughed. He has just one thing on his mind.
"I want to win it again, man," Odom said. "That's all there is to it."