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Lamar Odom leads Lakers' fourth-quarter rally in 115-110 victory over the Warriors

The reserve forward scores 16 of his 20 points in the final 12 minutes as the Lakers win their sixth game in a row. Kobe Bryant scores 17 of his 39 points in the fourth, as L.A. outscores Golden State, 46-35, in the period.

January 12, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers forward Lamar Odom puts up a shot during the first half of the Lakers' 115-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom puts up a shot during the first half of the Lakers'… (John G. Mabanglo / EPA )

Reporting from Oakland —

Is it too late for Lamar Odom?

The Lakers' sixth man desperately wants to make the All-Star team for the first time in his 12-year career, a goal that stuck with him even after his inevitable return to the bench when Andrew Bynum came back.

There are plenty of forwards to monitor in the Western Conference, but if voters want to gauge Odom's importance to the Lakers, they can study Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers looked fatigued and finished, but then Odom pushed them into a fourth-quarter run that helped them pull out a 115-110 victory at Oracle Arena.

Odom had 16 points in the final quarter as the Lakers emerged from a frenzied game to win their sixth in a row. He finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and an endorsement from Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to make the All-Star team as a reserve.

"Either that or as a starter," Jackson said, knowing the Lakers' most consistent player this season will need to make up ground quickly. "He'll need a lot of votes."

Certainly not to be forgotten Wednesday was Kobe Bryant, who had 39 points on 13-for-21 shooting and helped counteract a 38-point outburst by Warriors guard Monta Ellis.

Bryant steals the headlines, but Odom is hoping to snare a weekend's worth of All-Star status. He was a distant seventh in the most recent voting update for starters and probably would have to make the Feb. 20 game at Staples Center as one of the reserves who will be selected by NBA coaches.

"I figure if I make that a goal to attain, even if I don't hit it, then I help the team." Odom said. "At this point in my career, I'm being a little selfish, or the most selfish that I've ever been, but I'm doing it to help my team."

The Lakers (29-11) are in second place in the West, 11/2 games ahead of Dallas but 41/2 behind San Antonio.

Just when it looked like they were ready to shed their label of losing too many games to teams with losing records, they almost slipped up against the sub-.500 Warriors.

Nobody could stop Ellis, who played all 48 minutes, and the Lakers trailed going into the fourth quarter, 75-69.

But the Lakers also couldn't be stopped in the fourth quarter, scoring a staggering 46 points in the final 12 minutes, Bryant scoring 17 on his own.

Before the game, as NBA followers were still trying to break down the dominant defensive effort the previous night in a 112-57 victory over Cleveland, Jackson spoke kindly of the Lakers' recent attention to defending.

His reasoning? The Lakers stopped worrying about their personal stats and started dwelling on how to stop teams.

The Lakers weren't nearly as impressive defensively against Golden State (15-23), though the Warriors were averaging a solid 101.7 points a game before Wednesday.

Ellis stunned the Lakers early, scoring 20 points only a few minutes into the second quarter as the Warriors led by as many as 14.

The Lakers wouldn't be denied later, Odom coming alive after scoring only four points through three quarters. He scored on a well-rounded smattering of layups and outside shots.

Bryant was also impossible to stop down the stretch, his three-pointer giving the Lakers a 105-99 lead with 43.9 seconds to play.

"Kobe's pretty good," Odom said, smiling.

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