Slowly and deliberately, Lamar Odom bent over and put his clothes on, quietly announcing that he was famished after the game.
His back was sore from so much heavy lifting for the Lakers.
He was happy with how he played, for the most part, but still upset that his defense was not up to par.
All in all, Odom was satisfied with his performance and with that of the Lakers during a 114-106 overtime win over the stubborn Houston Rockets Tuesday night.
"I need something to eat," Odom said. "I'm starving."
After the game he played, after starting in place of the injured Andrew Bynum (bone bruise in left knee), Odom had a right to be on empty.
He had produced a 20-20 game, scoring 20 points on eight-for-18 shots, collecting a season-high 20 rebounds, eight offensive.
He played a game- and season-high 49 minutes 12 seconds.
"I feel it in my back right now," Odom said. "I'm tired."
Odom started the game slowly.
He had just four points on two-for-nine shooting.
He did have nine rebounds and three assists, but Odom wasn't asserting himself and his defense was poor.
"I wasn't happy with Lamar's performance in the first half," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "[In the] second half, he came back and played a game we expected of him."
Jackson was asked what he told Odom to inspire his power forward in the second half.
"Play better the second half, Lamar," Jackson said, smiling.
And Odom did.
He had 16 points on six-for-nine shooting, and he had 11 rebounds in the half. Of that, he had eight points and six rebounds in the fourth quarter.
He missed the last shot in the fourth quarter, but the game still went into overtime.
"It worked out," Odom said. "I made it happen. It's one of them things."
Odom wasn't happy that Rockets forward Luis Scola had 24 points on 12-for-20 shooting, and 15 rebounds.
Scola was Odom's defensive responsibility.
Scola even scored the game-tying basket in the fourth quarter on a wide-open layup with 5.5 seconds left.
"Scola kicked my [butt] tonight," Odom said. "We gave up a late-game layup to him. That's not supposed to happen."
In the end, Odom was able to smile, even if it was weary.
He had gotten better as the game wore on and he provided the Lakers with the lift they needed.
"I just had to get it together," Odom said. "I was in the posts at first half, on the wing in the second half. My rhythm was there."
Odom is averaging 15.4 points per game, third best on the team.
He's averaging 9.6 rebounds, second best on the team.
He's making 56.6% of his shots, the second highest on the team.
"I can say that right now I'm prepared," Odom said. "You leave me open for a 15-footer, if I miss it, I'm surprised. If I make it a move and it doesn't work, I'm surprised. I just feel good about my game right now."