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Odom, Butler step up with Kobe still out

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- With Los Angeles Lakers needing a
win and an injured Kobe Bryant still not an option, Lamar Odom
delivered big time.

Odom had 16 points, matched a career-best with 19 rebounds and
set up a go-ahead 3-pointer by Caron Butler with 1:54 to go in
overtime to lead the Lakers to a 104-103 victory over the New
Jersey Nets on Wednesday night.

"We just kept making plays," Odom said after Los Angeles
snapped a three-game losing streak and ended the Nets' season-high
five-game home winning streak.

The Lakers rallied from a 10-point deficit with 4:44 to play in
regulation and survived a late overtime shot by Vince Carter and
Jason Kidd's second straight triple-double to win for only the
third time in nine games.

"We needed a win bad," said Atkins, who tied the game at 92
with a long 3-pointer with 12.1 seconds left in regulation. "We
needed a win in the worst way. New Jersey has been playing great of
late and they are a tough team to beat at home."

Jumaine Jones had 20 points, Butler 19, Luke Walton 17 and
Atkins 14 for Los Angeles.

"Chucky Atkins got big guts," Odom said. "We finished strong.
We made ourselves proud."

Los Angeles is 6-7 since Kobe Bryant went on the injured list
with a severely sprained right ankle on Jan. 15.

"This is definitely a big win," Jones said. "It stopped the
bleeding. It will take us into Detroit with confidence."

The Lakers play the Pistons Thursday night in a rematch of last
year's NBA Finals.

Kidd finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his
63rd career triple-double. Carter, who had consecutive 40-point
games, finished with 27 points on 9-for-23 shooting. Ten-day
contract wonder Billy Thomas had a career-high 14 points, while
Jabari Smith and Jason Collins added 11 points apiece.

"They took the game from us, you have to give them credit,"
Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "They made the plays down the
stretch."

Carter gave the Nets a 101-99 lead with 2:03 to play when he hit
a jumper in the lane.

Odom, who had four points in the overtime, then drove past Kidd
and found Butler deep in the left corner for his only 3-pointer of
the game.

"We threw everybody we could at him," said Kidd, who finished
the game guarding the 6-foot-10 Odom.

After a couple of fruitless possessions, Atkins made a wild
floater in the lane with 36.8 seconds to go to stretch the lead to
104-101.

Carter cut the margin to a point with two free throws four
seconds later, and the Nets got a chance to win after Odom and
Walton missed shots inside on the Lakers' next possession.

The Nets called time out with 11.8 seconds to play and inbounded
the ball to Carter. He worked a jump shot with about 3 seconds to
go. The rebound went to the right of the basket and the Nets were
annoyed that no foul was called when Atkins pushed Jacque Vaughn
going after the loose ball.

"We had the ball in the right man's hands," Kidd said of the
final play. "He took a good shot and it looked good. We thought we
might have gotten a loose ball foul at the end, but the officials
didn't see it. The one thing we can learn from this game is that
the game is never over. We have to finish them out."

Down 90-82 after Carter hit a jumper, Odom and Walton each hit
two free throws. After Carter made a jumper, Los Angeles scored the
final six points.

Jones got Los Angeles within 92-89 with a 3-pointer with 36.3
seconds to play and Atkins got a chance to tie the game when Carter
missed a shot in the lane.<

^NOTES: Nets forward Brian Scalabrine will have surgery on his
left knee on Thursday. ... Lakers great Magic Johnson attended the
game. ... Bryant sat behind the Lakers bench. He said he would like
to play in the All-Star game next week if healthy. Lakers center
Chris Mihm was called for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter
after hitting Carter with a roundhouse right trying to block a
shot. ... The Lakers and Nets split two games this season. New
Jersey is 6-14 against the Western Conference. ...New Jersey, which
beat Philadelphia in overtime on Monday, played consecutive OT
games for the first time since November 2001.