The Lakers are one game away from the All-Star break and have arrived here either by having gained some momentum or by having limped to this part of the season.
It all depends on one’s perspective.
Then again, limping to the finish line may be more apt after Lamar Odom joined the Lakers’ injury list and missed practice Tuesday because of a sore right foot.
Odom got a CT scan and MRI Tuesday that were negative. The Lakers listed Odom, who became a starter because of Andrew Bynum’s bruised right hip, as probable for Wednesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz.
As Odom stood in the hallway at the team’s practice facility Tuesday, with his foot taped and an electronic muscle stimulator connected to his foot, he was adamant about playing against the Jazz. “I’m not missing the game,” he said. “I’ll be fine. We need the bodies.”
The Lakers basically have played the last two games without injured starters Kobe Bryant and Bynum.
They won both games, one a stunner because it ended a nine-game losing streak in Portland on Saturday, the other a solid victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night at Staples Center.
To continue this momentum, the Lakers must win in Salt Lake City in one of the toughest venues in the NBA.
Bryant has a sprained left ankle, and he said after an MRI Monday that it would be a game-time decision whether he plays against the Jazz. Bynum will not play Wednesday.
The Lakers face a Jazz team that has won 10 consecutive games at EnergySolutions Arena and has a 22-6 record at home.
Bryant is still deciding whether to play in the All-Star game Sunday or to rest. If he misses the Jazz game and the All-Star game, Bryant will have rested his ankle for 10 days by the time the Lakers play the Golden State Warriors next Tuesday at Staples Center.
“There is . . . something to be said for going into the break feeling good about where you are as a team,” Derek Fisher said. “At the same time, for us, getting healthy is really the focal point regardless of how we’re playing. If we’re not healthy, what we’re experiencing will be short-lived. So, good or bad, having all our guys available will be the key to our success.”
Bryant and Brown
Shannon Brown is competing in the dunk contest Saturday night during All-Star weekend, and he said Tuesday that Bryant is going to be his “passer” during the event.
“It’s going to be very entertaining,” Brown said. “I’m anxious to see what the other guys . . . are going to bring to the table.”
Bryant’s next regular-season game will be the 1,000th of his 14-year career. . . . Pau Gasol produced a stat line of 21 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks against the Spurs and he joined an elite group of players to have accomplished that feat, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it twice. Shaquille O’Neal, CharlesBarkley, Robert Parish and Bob McAdoo did it once.