Lamar Odom had 11 points, 15 rebounds and came up with a key defensive play in the final seconds as Miami scraped past the Los Angeles Clippers 87-85 on Friday night. Playing for the first time against the team he spent his first four NBA seasons with, Odom was booed by the crowd of 14,233 every time he touched the ball.
“It’s a little different, coming in here and walking into this locker room. But it’s just another game and you’ve got to approach it like that,” said Odom.
The victory was Miami’s fifth away from AmericanAirlines Arena this season, and snapped a four-game losing streak for the Heat, who rank 27th in the league with 86.1 points per game. Miami opened the trip with losses at Milwaukee, Minnesota, Sacramento and Utah.
The Nuggets have lost three of four, including a 91-88 setback to Dallas on Friday. Andre Miller scored 28 points, including eight straight to cut the lead to one, but Dallas forward Michael Finley scored five points in the final 1:26 to seal the win for the Mavericks.
“Our effort was really good,” Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “There were just a lot of little things throughout the game that prevented us from having a big win tonight.”
Rookie sensation Carmelo Anthony had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Denver, but shot just 5-of-18 from the field.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 16): Heat - 5th place, 6 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Nuggets - 5th place, 5 GB, Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Heat - Jones, 18.1 ppg; Odom, 9.4 rpg; Wade, 4.4 apg. Nuggets - Anthony, 18.1 ppg; Camby, 9.5 rpg; Miller, 6.2 apg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Nuggets, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: March 8; Nuggets, 98-92. At Miami, Junior Harrington scored a career-high 19 points and fellow rookie Nene added 16 as the Nuggets swept the season series and snapped a 14-game losing streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Heat - 5-18 on the road; Nuggets - 15-7 at home.