The end of January saw the Lakers begin a key 6-game road trip, with key stops in New York, Boston, and Cleveland. One game into the trip, and they lost Andrew Bynum for much, if not all, of the rest of the season. However, with Lamar Odom re-joining the starting five, he has brought renewed enthusiasm to the team, and with his brilliant third-quarter this afternoon against Cleveland, the Lakers finished the trip 6-0.
Down 10 points at halftime, and with a flu-ridden Kobe Bryant at half strength at best, Odom put in 15 points and hauled down 10 rebounds, as the Lakers outscored the Cavs by 13 in the 3d, and never looked back, as they won by 10, handing Cleveland their first home loss of the season.
The Lakers made a statement on this road trip, most emphatically in Cleveland and in Boston, as they wrapped up tie-breakers against both teams, which could be the difference come playoff time.
The Lakers now sit on top of the NBA, both with the league’s best record, and with talent, depth, enthusiasm, and the confidence that they’ll be back in the finals this year, but with a far different result.
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