Odom excused by Mavericks for game against Lakers

Lamar Odom missed the Dallas Mavericks’ game Wednesday night’s

against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Odom was excused from the game to

attend to a family matter.

”He will rejoin us after the break,” Carlisle said, without

elaborating, when he announced Odom’s absence at the end of his

pregame availability.

Odom has struggled much of the season with the Mavericks after

being the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the Lakers last season.

He won three NBA titles in seven seasons with the Lakers.

Los Angeles attempted to trade Odom to New Orleans in a deal for

Chris Paul before the season – a trade that was blocked by the

league. The Mavericks acquired Odom three days later for a trade

exception and a draft pick.

Odom is averaging 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. He was only

3-of-14 shooting the last two games.

”He’s a guy that’s 6-10, 6-11 that’s extremely versatile, can

help you on both ends of the floor,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said.

”I think they’ll miss him, but they’re still a formidable team

without him. They have some veteran players on their team, they’re

NBA champions who play the right way.”

But Odom, a 13-year veteran, is posting some of the lowest

numbers of his career. He had missed only one of the Mavericks’ 33

games before Wednesday night.

When the Mavericks played the Lakers last month, Odom had 10

points and four rebounds in his return to Los Angeles.

The Lakers play again in Dallas on March 21, and the Mavericks

play in Los Angeles on April 15.