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Clippers' Lamar Odom is making progress

Odom has played in all 23 games, which has allowed his body to get back into shape and his game to improve. Odom had a season-high 10 points, including two three-pointers, against Milwaukee.

December 16, 2012|By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times
  • Lamar Odom is averaging 3.0 points on 35.6% shooting, but he's making progress.
Lamar Odom is averaging 3.0 points on 35.6% shooting, but he's making… (Michael Nelson / EPA )

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — As the basketball found its way into the hands of Lamar Odom, all of his Clippers' teammates stood up from the bench and yelled, "Hit that three, 'L.O.'"

And he did, knocking down a three-pointer in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' victory over Milwaukee on Saturday night that was another encouraging sign for Odom and the Clippers.

Then Odom got back on defense and took a charge.

"I see you, Christ the King," Grant Hill yelled from the bench, smiling, referring to Odom's high school in Queens, N.Y.

And just like that, on back-to-back plays, Odom's teammates saw him display the multiple skills they had all seen before.

"I feel good," Odom said. "Every game, every practice, I feel better. I'm eating right, getting rest."

Odom still may be averaging only 3.0 points on 35.6% shooting, 4.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 16.1 minutes, but he's making progress.

He has played in all 23 games, allowing his body to get back in shape and his game to improve.

"I don't never get discouraged," Odom said. "I know a part of it is the body being right, being confident, doing things the right way and being in that rhythm. As I start to feel better, then the moves and baskets and things like that will happen."

The Milwaukee game was Odom's best of the season.

He scored a season-high 10 points, missing just one of his five shots, making both of his three-pointers. He had five rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.

"He started hitting a couple of shots," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "But defensively, I've been very pleased with him. He's getting in a little bit better conditioning. He's getting his legs under him a little bit. He hit a couple of nice jump shots, which was good to see for him."

Odom was his most active in the fourth quarter against the Bucks.

He had eight of his points. He made both of his three-pointers then, blocked a shot and took that charge.

"He does a lot of intangible things out there — whether it's defensively, being in the right spot, making the right play," Del Negro said. "When he starts getting his legs and he spreads the court for us even more, I think he's really going to help us in a lot of ways."

Bledsoe injury

Eric Bledsoe suffered a left hip injury while taking a hard fall onto the court in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's game.

Bledsoe was sore Sunday, a Clippers' spokesperson said, but was expected to play Monday against Detroit.

Playing together

In the eyes of Odom, when the Clippers play defense and share the basketball, "we can compete at a high level."

And that's what the Clippers have been doing throughout their nine-game winning streak, the second longest in franchise history.

"Any advantage that you can have, you want," Odom said. "That's why the dunk and the lob are important to our team, getting on the break. It creates moments."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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