Heat 102, Kings 96
MIAMI (AP)—Lamar Odom thinks he could have played better Saturday. After all, he did miss five free throws.
It was the Heat’s first triple-double in nine years, the fourth in franchise history and the eighth for Odom. He achieved a season high in points and a career high in rebounds, and he matched his career high in assists.
“That’s my favorite part of basketball—getting triple-doubles and filling it up a little bit,” Odom said. “If there’s one stat I could have, that would be it, whether it’s 10-10-10 or big ones like this. I’ll remember this game for a long time.”
Working mostly against Chris Webber, who returned this week from knee surgery, Odom went 11-for-18 from the field and 7-for-12 from the line. He also had two steals and a block in 45 minutes and was at his best down the stretch.
“It wasn’t a complete game,” Odom said. “Bad night from the free throw line.”
Teammate Eddie Jones went just 1-for-8 from the field but made three free throws in the final 23 seconds and played smothering defense against Peja Stojakovic. Sacramento’s top offensive threat went 4-for-13 and scored 14 points.
Mike Bibby had 24 points and Webber 22 for the Kings, who fell behind by 13 points in the second quarter.
“We didn’t do a thing in the first half,” coach Rick Adelman said. “We were in another place. I don’t know what was going on.”
The Kings, who shot 39 percent, came into the game with the NBA’s best record but fell to 20-3 against the Eastern Conference. The other losses were at Boston and at New York in early November.
“It seems we beat the best teams, then lose to the lower-caliber teams,” Webber said. “We have to remember that now we’re not under the radar anymore. And whether they make the playoffs or not, a win over us can make their season.”
And then there was Odom. The 6-foot-10 forward was all over the floor, often running the offense from the point.
“That was a phenomenal performance,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “There haven’t been many better than that in the NBA this year. He had a very favorable matchup, and he made great plays.”
Webber declined to blame his knee as a hindrance in trying to guard Odom.
“He had a great game,” Webber said. “They used him like a point forward— put the ball in his hands and let him do what he does. He’s so versatile in a lot of different situations.”
The Heat hung onto a small lead as Odom made several key plays late. First he grabbed a rebound and threw a long pass to Butler, who drove the rest of the way for a layup and an 88-84 lead.
Odom then achieved the triple-double when he earned his 10th assist with 2:46 left. He stumbled to the floor on a drive, and two Kings were battling him for the ball when it rolled to Haslem, who sank a layup for 90-86 lead.
Another assist by Odom set up Alston’s 3-pointer that made it 94-88. Odom said he was unaware of the triple-double until the game ended.
“The most important thing is that we won,” he said. “If you have a gamelike that losing, no one cares. No one remembers it.”
The Heat’s stretch of 739 games without a triple-double was the longest in the NBA. Utah now has the longest at 390. … The last Heat player to record a triple-double was Billy Owens on Jan. 5, 1995. … The Kings fell to 3-13 in Miami. They last won in Miami on Dec. 9, 2001. … Webber is averaging 24 points and nine rebounds in three games since returning from knee surgery and a suspension.