Old friend Laron Profit spurs Lamar Odom

DALLAS -- Lamar Odom received fashion advice and a little life advice, too, prior to Tuesday's game against the Houston Rockets, Odom's first game back since home fans booed him last week, and his first chance at redemption from an awful week on the court.

Odom said Laron Profit, a friend and former teammate on the 2005-06 Los Angeles Lakers, sent him old playing photos from his rookie season with the Clippers when he used to wear a headband. That sparked the idea to go back to his fashion roots.

But it was their candid talk that perhaps helped to jump start Odom in the Mavs' 90-81 victory over the Houston Rockets.

The struggling forward completed his most energetic and productive game in weeks with nine points coming on assertive moves to the basket, four rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes off the bench. With each aggressive drive he made, once going baseline, cradling the ball in the crook of his arm and laying it in, sparked his teammates off the bench as they laughed and cheered him on.

At the same time, the sellout crowd, one that laid into him with boos last week, quickly backed his energetic play.

"I was talking to one of my friends and we were just talking about tough times and he was like maybe it was meant for you to start off slow," Odom said of his talk with Profit, who lives in the Washington D.C. area. "And I was like, 'What are you talking about?' And he was like so you can really know how people feel about you. And it goes to show that we got great guys on this team that are loyal, that are pulling for me, so it’s good to know."

The nine points was Odom's high since scoring 15 on March 8. But Tuesday's performance was more about body language and effort than points or other statistics. Odom's spiraling week went from home boos Wednesday to Friday's benching to an ineffective 13 minutes Saturday and more questions about whether Odom was just simply packing it in for the season.

On Monday, he felt compelled to address the booing, calling it confusing and hurtful, while igniting a whole new round of media discussion about his perplexing season.

When he checked into Tuesday's game in the first quarter, he was received with some cheers and also loud boos. As the evening progressed, the boo birds switched sides.

"That’s a really good feeling," Odom said. "Even when I checked into the game it was a little different tonight and I think they kind of understand me and where I’m coming from and what I want to do, and nobody wants it as bad as me."