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Odom Excused By Mavericks For Game Vs. Lakers

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DALLAS (AP) – 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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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