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Fresh Fit: Lamar Odom improving; Vince Carter hurting

1/17/2012

Our weekly look at the Mavs' newcomers:

LOS ANGELES -- Lamar Odom was clearly touched by the long standing ovation given to him by the Staples Center crowd when he was the first Dallas Mavericks reserve to check in with 7:32 to go in the first quarter.

And, Odom acknowledged that is was definitely weird to be in that building and wearing a different uniform.

"It was great, it was cool, it was different, but it's over." Odom said. "I owe it to the guys in this locker room to be loyal to them."

Odom hit his first baseline jumper moments after checking in. He scored seven points in the first quarter after making three of his first four shots. But, he finished just 4-of-12 from the floor for 10 points. Odom played 11 minutes in the second half and was 1-of-7 from the field for three points. He played five minutes in the fourth quarter, but came out with 2:01 to go and didn't get back in as the game hung in the balance.

"Anytime, especially if it’s against your guys -- guys you went to battle with," Odom said of losing on Derek Fisher's 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to go. "Any time you lose a close game it hurts."

Odom again tried to suggest that he's separating himself from the disappointment of not playing for the Lakers anymore. He hugged Fisher to start the game, guarded Kobe Bryant a time or two and had an interesting dialogue with Bryant late in the game as Bryant came over to the Mavs bench and said something to Odom.

"I mean, it happens and it happened," Odom said of the trade. "I don’t want to take anything away from my time here, but in order for me to succeed, I have to move on. I plan on succeeding in this next chapter in my life, so you have to move on no matter what."

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle insists he is seeing progress from Odom, who is averaging 7.0 points and 4.9 points a game.

"I was happy for Lamar," Carlisle said. "I thought he played very well. It’s extremely difficult to come in and do what he did in the first half. He made his first two shots and made plays and I was very proud of him. He’s been through a lot, but he’s really manned up here and we love him."

Vince Carter hopes he can move on quickly from a sprained left foot that happened on the final play as he tried to get off a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to tie the game.

Carter left the arena on crutches. X-rays showed no break, but Carter was clearly in pain and not exactly sure of the damage. He's become a valuable member of a high-scoring bench.

"He's hurting," Carlisle said after Monday's game. "We'll hope for the best."