Brian Waddle for CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Maximum effort does not go unnoticed.

The Dallas Mavericks, after coming off their 4th loss in a row with Brandon Wright out of the lineup due to a concussion, are in bad need of support from the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Lamar Odom hadn’t played a game since the February 20th win against the Boston Celtics.

Odom came into Saturday’s 102 – 96 victory over the Utah Jazz averaging 7 points off the bench, far from his 11 point average from a year ago. Odom finished the night with 18 minutes. He was 3 of 5 from the field for 9 points; he had 3 assists and 5 rebounds off the bench.

“He had a real presence in the game and he played the game with some real authority tonight that we haven’t seen,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Odom has been criticized for his lack of effort and commitment to the team but it was reiterated that Odom is needed.
“I told him after the game and the team that he’s got to keep bringing this and we’ve got to stay on him to do that because it’ll be able to take our team to a different level,” said Carlisle.

Lamar addressed the team after the game and asked for their support.“I told them just to stick with me and at this point in my life, I need them,” said Odom. “I’m fortunate to have a group of guys like this.”

The leader of this franchise Dirk Nowitzki likes to see his teammate back in the lineup. “We’re happy to see him back because we’re a different team when he’s playing. He was great tonight and he handles the whole situation very well. All we ask him to do is play hard on both ends. We want him to have fun out there with the guys and we’re happy to see him back,” said Nowitzki.

Dirk and the Mavs stopped their losing streak at 4 with a 40 point performance. This victory puts them at 1-3 during this tough stretch of 9 games in 12 days which started on February 28th against the New Jersey Nets.

“It (the victory) was big because it was tough losing a couple of games in a row,” said Nowitzki, “We have to establish ourselves again and tonight our fans really helped us out tonight.”

Editor’s Note: Brian Waddle is the producer of the K&C Masterpiece, heard Sunday mornings on 105.3 The Fan from 9am to 1 pm.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS Local. All Rights Reserved.)

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