SAN ANTONIO -- As the Dallas Mavericks were bounced around for the second straight game, the saga of Lamar Odom continued.
While the San Antonio Spurs used a 22-2 run to beat up the Dallas Mavericks 104-87 on Friday night at the AT&T Center, Odom was the only Mavs player who did not play. His absence on the court comes on the heels of his play Wednesday night, when Odom had one point, one rebound and one assist in 24 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Odom said it was the first time he can remember that he was healthy and did not play in a game.
"Expect the unexpected as far as life is concerned," Odom said. "I've been through a lot. I've buried a child. There's not too much I haven't seen, so I understand it. I'm a team guy. He's the coach."
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Coach Rick Carlisle said he talked to Odom on Thursday and Friday about possibly not playing him against the Spurs. But Carlisle refused to call sitting Odom as a means of benching him or sending a message to the Mavs' big off-season acquisition.
"I'm not big into sending messages," Carlisle said. "I did think it was something we needed to look at. It was looking at a different scenario. I'm just saying Lamar's minutes, whatever they are, are valuable to us."
The Spurs (31-14) pounded the Mavs on the backboards 54-34. They also outscored them in the paint 50-16 and in second-chance points 21-7.
It didn't help, either, that the Mavs shot 38.3 percent from the field.
The Mavs rallied to take a 63-58 lead after Jason Kidd hit a 3-pointer with 4:17 left in the third period. But the Spurs, who played without All-Star point guard Tony Parker, put the game away with a 22-2 run.
"We just didn't close the game out the way we wanted to," said Dirk Nowitzki, who was 5 of 21 from the field and finished with 16 points and two rebounds. "I actually felt good at the beginning of the game, just during the game I just couldn't get the ball up. Everything was short."
The Spurs led 24-21 after the first period and 52-45 at the half. Jason Terry (18 points) and Kidd, who turned 39 on Friday, got the Mavs back in it. Then everything went haywire for the Mavs, who play at Houston tonight.
"The 22-2 run, that killed us. We had worked our butt off to get a five-point lead. It's disappointing. I like a lot of what we did out there. We played hard, but the rebounding and the run in the third and fourth quarters killed us."
Maybe, but how did not playing Odom affect the Mavs?
"We're in a position now where we've got to win games," Carlisle said. "We've got to get ourselves into the playoffs, and we've got to get ourselves into the playoffs healthy and whole, and he's one of the guys that can help us do that."