Lamar Odom leads in 6th-man battle

LOS ANGELES -- Jason Terry might have lost more than his cool and a crucial regular-season game Thursday night.

His chance to win this season’s Sixth Man of the Year award might have also slipped away.

Terry’s primary competition is Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who had a brilliant performance in L.A.’s rout of the Mavericks. Odom scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting -- including two 3s that killed any comeback hopes early in the fourth quarter – and grabbed 11 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Terry, who earned the Sixth Man honor a couple of seasons ago, struggled before getting ejected due to a flagrant foul. He finished with five points on 2-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes in a game in which Dirk Nowitzki desperately needed his scoring sidekick to play well. It was an extremely disappointing performance for a player who prides himself on coming through in the clutch.

It was an awfully strong statement for Odom in a high-profile game the week that ballots were sent to voters.

“He’s been playing like that all year,” Kobe Bryant said of Odom, who is averaging 14.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists. “For him, I’m sure it was kind of a challenge to be that Sixth Man of the Year. Terry has been a phenomenal sixth man for years, but I think this is [Odom’s] time.”