LA’s Lamar Odom and Miami’s Gary Payton had to be seperated at the conclusion of yesterday’s Heat/Lakers matinee. The Miami Herald’s Israel Guiterrez sheds little light on the situation.

There’s trash talk, and then there’s Gary Payton’s talk.

Sunday, Payton was at his best — or worst, depending on your perspective. The target of his verbal jabs was former Heat forward Lamar Odom. And Odom didn’t take well to Payton’s chatter.

Payton received a technical foul in the third quarter for his wrangling with Odom, after which Odom winked toward his bench as if he had the situation under control.

But the back-and-forth banter continued for the remainder of the game, to the point where the two had to be separated at midcourt after the game was over. Odom said Payton crossed the line of good sportsmanship with some of his comments.

‘He’s an extremely disrespectful young man,'”‘ Odom said. “I’m not going to repeat anything he said, but he’s extremely disrespectful.

“It’s dudes like that, that’s why things happen off the court between players and their friends and things like that. He needs to watch how he talks to other men. It’s a difference between competing and how you talk to another man.”

Payton (above) said he was just doing what he normally does, trying to get into the minds of his competition.

”You just keep talking and keep playing,” Payton said. “Some of the players, their mentality is they want to get mad and take it personal against you, then they start thinking about you all the time. That’s where my mental toughness is, because I don’t care. I can talk, and I’m not going to worry about you anymore.”

Odom normally doesn’t get caught up in trash talk, so this must have been some of Payton’s finest work.

”That wasn’t an accomplishment to me,” Payton said. “That’s the way I am. You say something to me, I’ll say something back to you. It was in fun to me. It’s over with. He goes home, I go home.”