Lakers’ Lamar Odom covets a first All-Star game appearance

Lamar Odom aspires to make the All-Star team, to be recognized as one of the NBA’s best who plays on that stage.

It has never happened for Odom, something he mentioned he has thought about “a little bit.”

On Friday night, Odom was the Laker who played like an All-Star, scoring a season-high 28 points in the Lakers’ 93-81 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. He made 11 of his 18 shots and collected eight rebounds.

Odom had 13 points in the decisive fourth quarter, going five for six from the field.

He had two three-point plays and a three-point basket.

“I got really good looks,” Odom said. “I don’t know what I shot from the field. I think [with] the looks that I got, I probably should have shot 16 for 18. . . . The jump shot was bound to fall soon or later.”


Odom, 31, is in his 12th season in the NBA and is playing some of the best basketball of his career. He’s averaging 16.2 points and 10 rebounds per game and shooting 58.8%.

His shooting percentage is the highest of his career. His scoring is the third best of his career, his best during his seven-year tenure with the Lakers. His rebounding is the third best of his career.

In a Western Conference packed with All-Star-caliber forwards, Odom was seventh at the position in the season’s first All-Star balloting released Thursday, with 134,594 votes.

“As the years go by, it’s something that I would like to accomplish. I feel like I can play on that level,” Odom said. “I feel like I’m the only guy who doesn’t get mentioned as an All-Star, but gets mentioned as one of the league’s best players. But it’s something I would at least like to go for. Why not?

“If I fail, I can say I went for it. But I think it’s that time in my career for me to set that goal and try to attain it. I think I owe it to myself. I don’t want to be done with the game and then look back and think about not at least trying to go get it.”

Bynum trying to find his game

It was Andrew Bynum’s third game back after he missed the Lakers’ first 24 games while recovering from right knee surgery, and he’s still trying to find his groove.

Bynum logged just under 13 Friday night. He shot one for five from the field, missing some easy shots down low, including a put-back after an offensive rebound.

“Actually, I think I did a lot better,” Bynum said. “I didn’t really get tired. . . . Defensively I did all right. I think I just need to get my touch back.”