NBA Roundtable

Game Time: Los Angeles vs Houston

In Game Log / Recap on November 10, 2008 at 4:46 am

Great matchup tonight, quite possibly the best two teams in the Western Conference.

For my money, Houston are the team that’s best equipped to knock the Lakers off in postseason action

First Quarter

  • Bynum just about wins the tip. Lakers immediately go to Bynum, he backs Yao down, turns middle, jump hook, loses control of the ball. Bynum has said in the past that Yao is one of the more difficult players for him to play against, he’s the only one who’s bigger than him length wise.
  • Pau Gasol with a defensive rebound, Fisher brings it up, Fisher probing off the bounce, creates his shot, takes a fallaway 15 footer left wing, in and out, miss. Looked good.
  • Bynum forces an air ball from Yao on his fallaway along the baseline off the left post
  • Kobe hitting a floater over Yao
  • Artest backs down Kobe, Kobe dives, open path to the rim, LA’s defense all rotate over, pass out to Scola for the 17 footer top of the key, nails it
  • Kobe beating Artest with his quickness, another bucket for him
  • Lakers run the fastbreak, Radmanovic throws the lob pass to Gasol, slam dunk. Nice play
  • Yao called for a travel. He got Bynum on the head fake and was about to draw a foul, but he travelled first.
  • Bynum keeping it alive, Scola corrals it.
  • Tracy driving, Kobe strips him … fastbreak the other way, Fisher layup, contested, miss, putback contested, miss
  • Pau misses a 16 footer left wing off the pick and pop
  • Kobe from behind blocks Yao Ming. Looked like Yao had an open dunk after a sweet pass from Scola. Yao tried to lay it in rather than dunk it on the layup.
  • Lovely bounce pass by Fisher to Bynum off the pick and roll, he goes strong to the rim, foul on Houston. Bynum misses the first, makes the second.
  • Lakers lead 7-4
  • Alston throws an awful pass out of bounds. That was 7 feet wide of two players, almost perfectly in between the two
  • Bynum throws a bad pass, Artest leads the break, finds Alston, layup
  • Kobe showing some nice footwork, spins baseline, fouled by Artest. Artest playing Kobe tight.
  • Fisher has another J rattle in and out. Unlucky.
  • Lakers 3-12 from the field to start the game
  • Lovely cut by Yao, he dunks it hard. Learned his lesson from the previous play.
  • Quick push by Houston, three pointer Alston right wing. Rafer has 7 of their first 11 points.
  • Houston ahead 11-7
  • Rafer leading the fastbreak, behind the back to McGrady, layup contested, missed, tap up and in.
  • Bad pass by Gasol, Bynum almost saves it. His athleticism is crazy. Turnover … fastbreak Houston, three pointer on the break.
  • Timeout
  • Houston lead 16-7
  • Lakers miss a shot out of the timeout, Bynum keeps it alive, fighting for it, it goes out of bounds. Rockets ball.
  • Great collapsing defense by LA on Tracy McGrady, forced Houston into a very poor shot.
  • Turnover LA, bad pass by Radmanovic. Fifth turnover
  • Rockets have 4 turnovers. Houston have scored 10 points off turnovers, LA only 2.
  • Bynum inside over Scola, takes the turnaround, great look, misses, rebound Scola
  • Rafer races up court, and all around the court, now resets the offense, into Yao, he takes the quick turnaround J, in and out
  • Fisher nails a 18 footer left wing
  • Rockets post up Yao, tentatively passes out instead of taking the shot, Houston repost, Yao takes a hook shot, nails it
  • Houston try to run off the fastbreak, Artest looks to slow it down and reset, then sees the trailing Scola, finds Luis, Luis dribbles right, thinks about resetting the offense, thinks better of it, notices Pau isn’t in good defensive position, spins baseline, gets under the hoop, goes up strong, draws the foul
  • Timeout
  • Scola makes two
  • Yao taps it away from Gasol in the low post, fastbreak, Alston takes a runner, misses, Yao runs to the front of the rim and sets up shop, taps it up, misses, taps it in on the second attempt
  • Ron Artest picks up his second foul
  • Aaron Brooks comes in for Artest. Odd substitution. Adelman must want to keep up the high pace. Brooks will run the point by the looks of their first possession.
  • Alston three pointer, left iron
  • Kobe doubled by Yao …. terrible matchup. Kobe will kill Rafer Alston. At least put Tracy on Kobe. This is where Shane Battier’s absence really hurts
  • Rockets lead 22-11
  • Kobe misses the first FT, makes the second FT
  • Chuck Hayes comes in for Yao. Now the Rockets are really small.
  • Two minutes to play in the first quarter
  • Difficult two minutes ahead for Houston
  • Chuck Hayes tries to create a shot for himself, almost turns it over, passes out, Scola forced into a 20 footer to beat the shot clock.
  • Blocking foul on Hayes trying to take a charge on Ariza’s slashing.
  • Houston forced to heave at the end of the shot clock again, miss, offensive rebound, out to Brooks, three pointer good. Brooks has gotten 1-3 of those three pointers of teammates offensive rebounds per game in the Rockets games I’ve watched this season.
  • Houston miss a runner, offensive rebound, they bring it back out and play the clock.
  • Brooks top of the key, drives into the paint, fouled by Gasol, finishes up over Gasol off the glass, nice high arc there. Brooks makes the FT, three point play.
  • Houston ahead 28-14
  • Kobe brings it up, crosses over T-Mac and takes the pull up J, hits it

Second Quarter

  • Lakers shooting only 29% in the first quarter. Plus the 8 turnovers. Plus the 4 offensive rebounds Houston got. Lakers are only down 12?  They should be happy.
  • Lovely pass down low to Carl Landry, he gets a hoop in the middle of the lane to start the second quarter off right
  • Bynum taps the rebound out, Ariza hustles it down
  • Houston have no starters on the floor right now
  • Landry is the tallest Rocket on the floor. Hayes is guarding Bynum. Go to Bynum! Please!
  • Rockets lead 32-16
  • Hayes called for the hold on Bynum
  • Lakers go inside to Bynum, nice give and go between Ariza and Bynum as Ariza cuts baseline gets the hand off and lays it in
  • Brooks drives baseline, throws a bad pass, turnover, foul on the fastbreak as Landry reaches in on Sasha’s dribble
  • Bynum with a nice move in the post to hit a turnaround over Hayes. Little shoulder shake and good footwork.
  • Rockets turnover, Ariza gives it to Farmar, Farmar layup
  • Head passes out to Brooks, he nails a three from the right corner as Sasha gets hit by a screen
  • Timeout Phil Jackson
  • Phil has a word with Sasha as he comes to bench – friendly word. Likely give some directions to Sasha after that last play.
  • Rockets lead 35-22
  • Farmar nails a three from the top of the key, 10 point game
  • Brooks runs off a screen, loses his man completely, wide open three, no two pointer, foot on the line, right wing. Nice movement by Brooks.
  • Bynum walks, isn’t called, he finishes over Hayes easily in the paint
  • Landry on the pick and pop, great look from 15 feet, FT line jumper, hits it
  • Hayes called for another foul. Tried to draw a charge again, failed, blocking foul.
  • 8 minutes to play in the first half
  • Brooks has 13 points already.
  • Scola checks in for Hayes
  • Landry strokes it home from 18 feet right wing
  • Lamar Odom very aggressive on two straight possessions posting up on Landry. Called for three seconds on the second possession before he could get it up and in. Landry has to start defending him before the FT line. Odom is starting to low.
  • Turnover, Bynum steals Barry’s pass, Barry wants a foul. Fastbreak, three pointer, good.
  • Another Rockets turnover, Farmar runs it, looks to reset, no he takes a three after pulling out, misses. Huge momentum shot right there. Another basket would have been brilliant, crowd would have erupted. Should have gotten a better shot.
  • Rockets run the other way off Farmar’s miss, Scola draws the foul inside, makes two FTs.
  • Rockets lead 43-31
  • 7 minutes to play
  • Lamar Odom posting up at the elbow, turns middle, shoots, Ariza swoops in from the right wing, offensive rebound, misses the putback, Odom hits the putback
  • Bynum posts up inside, misses the baseline shot, Ariza swoops in again. Fouled on teh putback.
  • Brent Barry – Put a body on Trevor Ariza already! You’re killing your team right now. Four second chance points and it’s on your head for being lazy. Nothing else, just a lack of effort. Get your head in the game.
  • Farmar steals it, breakaway dunk
  • Houston lead 43-36
  • Head drives to the rim, layup. Nobody stopped the ball. Two bigs showed some attention and reached over, but didn’t go strong enough
  • Lamar Odom to pop off from three, no, passes off in midair, finds Bynum open under the rim, dunk.
  • Timeout Houston
  • 7 point game now
  • Lakers are leading on the backboards, 17-15.
  • This is one of those matchups where not having Mutombo kills the Rockets. They need that second big to handle the Lakers quality big man play, especially Bynum.
  • Ariza swooping in fon the offensive glass, another rebound. That was Head’s fault.
  • Kobe nails a 20 footer after Yao didn’t come out on the pick and roll
  • Timeout
  • Houston lead 45-40
  • Alston probing off the dribble, over-dribbles, Ariza helps, reaches in, knocks it loose, turnover.
  • Kobe suffocated on the drive, barely gets rid of it. Perimeter shot, huge offensive rebound by Bynum, he gets it back, goes back up, misses, Houston pull it down.
  • Yao tries to thread the backdoor pass, Ariza steals it
  • Lovely pass by Fisher to Ariza who was running the baseline, reverse layup, miss, Pau taps it home
  • Bynum defensive rebound
  • Houston up 1
  • Houston lead 45-44
  • Kobe drives to the rim, rejected by Yao, Artest retrieves it
  • Yao fighting on the offensive glass, taps it home
  • Yao has 8 and 4
  • Fisher has the ball stolen by Alston, he goes coast to coast, misses the layup, tip by Artest, missed, smacked out, Lakers run the other way …. to Bynum, he stretches back and looks to dunk it home hard after Ariza’s feed, Yao jumps up straight, hands down, called for a foul. Bad call.
  • Timeout
  • Bynum makes two at the line
  • Houston lead 47-46
  • 1:37 to play in the half
  • Fisher called for a bump
  • Bynum takes a break. He had a great stretch in the second quarter. As did Ariza.
  • Odom defensive rebound, with one hand as he does so well.
  • Lovely footwork by Gasol to get the easy shot in the paint. Lakers have taken the lead.
  • Kobe gambling, knocks it loose, Artest falls over, turnover … fastbreak the other way, Tracy tries to stop the ball, Gasol jumps into him. Gasol smacked into Tracy’s knee. Not sure if he’s worried about his knee or ankle. He’s walking gingerly but staying on the court.
  • Second last possession, Houston bring it up, Artest, forces it against Kobe, fouled by Fisher, sorry Kobe. Bail out foul by Artest. Artest only had one thing in his mind there, and that’s to shoot the ball. Nothing but one-on-one play. Three Lakers surrounded him trying to steal the ball after they realized he wasn’t passing.
  • Lakers lead 50-48
  • Final possession, Kobe turns it over, Artest on the break, layup, blocked by Odom from behind. Great defensive play to end the half.

Halftime

  • Houston were up 32-16 after the first 13 minutes. Over the next 11 minutes, LA went on a tear outscoring Houston 34-16
  • Lakers ahead 25-21 on the backboards
  • The Rockets second unit is badly missing Shane Battier and Dikembe Mutombo tonight
  • Lakers have 7 assists on 17-41 shooting from the floor for 41.5% FG%. They are 2-7 from three and 14-18 from the FT line.
  • The Lakers have 11 turnovers costing them 17 points. Turnovers hurt LA badly in the first half.
  • The Rockets have 12 turnovers of their own, costing them 13 points
  • The Rockets have 12 assists on 19-43 shooting for 44.3% from the field. They are 4-9 from three and 6-7 from the line.
  • Pau Gasol had 12 points and 8 rebounds in the first half. He’s perhaps the biggest key to LA beating Houston, because he’s their second best scorer and has a matchup that he can take advantage on if he plays smart.
  • Bynum had 9 points and 6 rebounds, 2 assists and one steal+block
  • Kobe Bryant had 9 points but no assists and no rebounds. Played 17 minutes.
  • Trevor Ariza had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals off the bench in 12 minutes
  • Brooks leads the Rockets with 13 points. Landry adds another 6 off the bench. Head had a layup.
  • Luis Scola leads the team with 6 rebounds, also has 8 points. Yao adds in 8 points, 4 rebounds and block. Alston had 7 points.
  • Tracy McGrady is 1-7 from the field and has 3 points plus two dimes.
  • Ron Artest played 15 minutes, shot 0-5 from the field and 1-2 from the FT line for one point. He has 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists and one block … also two personal fouls so he has to be careful in the third

Third Quarter

  • Lakers lead 50-48
  • Kobe called for two quick fouls. That’s three. He switches to Tracy now.
  • Artest isolation top of the key, he’s dribbling, threatening to drive, pump fake, Radmanovic bites, he jumps into Rad, takes the contact, FTs coming, he makes one of two.
  • Yao makes a bad pass, throws it behind Scola, turnover
  • Kobe jumps around Yao and puts it home with his left hand in the paint. Pretty move.
  • Alston bricks it, offensive rebound Houston, Alston drives it in, out to Tracy, 17 footer, misses, he’s now 1-8 from the floor
  • Tracy is gimpy as the commentator puts it … he’s not running smoothly at all
  • Scola with a nice spin, heavily contested by Bynum, great defense, Scola got it off and just missed, rebound LA
  • Bad pass Kobe, Bynum tries to save it, can’t get there in time.
  • Rockets have 13 turnovers, Houston have 12
  • Awful spacing for Houston. Their frontcourt and Tracy was within 5 feet of each other for about 4 seconds there. Finally Tracy moves two feet to the left, Tracy backs down Kobe, passes off to Yao, dunk
  • Lakers lead 52-51
  • The second half has been at Houston’s pace
  • Alston misses another three, defensive rebound Bynum. Alston was wide open there
  • Radmanovic nails a three pointer from the left corner
  • 7:30 to play in the half
  • Nice pass and interior pass by Alston to Yao, Yao not ready, miss, defenisve rebound, pass out, intercepted by Artest, Artest dribbles to the corner and takes a three … What is he thinking? … makes it. Bad shot to take
  • Kobe scores, then blocks McGrady’s layup. Tracy should have dunked that. He was wide open under the rim.
  • Kobe scores off the glass from midrange
  • Lakers lead 59-54
  • Timeout
  • Halfway point
  • Artest knocks down another three pointer, this time off a hand off from Yao
  • Radmanovic with a high arcing three looking to respond, long rebound to the corner, Kobe beats everyone to the ball, passes out, Lakers swing it to Fisher, he bags a long jumper
  • Yao muscling Bynum underneath, blocked by Pau, jump ball, no foul on Bynum first. Bynum has played aggressive defense on Yao tonight.
  • Yao posting up inside, quick fadeaway, fouled on the reach in by Fisher. Yao will shoot two. Yao misses both.
  • 5 minutes to play
  • Gasol touches the ball, still hasn’t shot the ball in the second half, he forces a running a hook, scores it. Looked a little off balance but the shot was good all the way.
  • McGrady driving to the rim, barely gets off the floor, blocked by Bynum. Not sure if Bynum even jumped there.
  • Artest and Scola miss shots
  • Lakers lead 67-57
  • Kobe pushes it on the break, back to Pau on the left elbow, misses, Bynum fights for it, doesn’g te it, Houston bring it up court.
  • Nice pass by Artest inside to Scola, fouled inside.
  • Landry and Brooks enter the game
  • Lakers turn it over on the breakaway. 15th turnover for LA.
  • Lakers lead 67-59 with 2:30 to play. Eight point game.
  • Lakers lead by 9 on the backboards, 38-29 overall.
  • Landry getting away inside on the weakside, Tracy finds him, dunk
  • Screen and roll Kobe to Pau, slam dunk
  • Brooks drive and dish to Scola, 17 footer baseline J, hits it
  • Kobe takes a contested three, rebound falls right to Farmar
  • Radmanovic posting Brooks, horrific entry pass pushes Radmanovic out from 6 feet to 18 feet. What was that? High looping pass that was way off the mark. Stopped an easy shot. Those types of plays drive me crazy.
  • Kobe has to take it at the shot clock buzzer, contested, misses
  • Artest sets up Landry, blocked by Gasol, Landry gets it back, goes up again, blows it
  • Lakers run up the other way, Lamar takes the three pointer top of the key, makes it
  • Lakers lead 72-63
  • Brooks holds it for the final shot, he takes it to the rim, Bynum helps, Brooks get it over him, off glass, rims out, rebound Landry, putback Landry.

Fourth Quarter

  • Lakers lead 72-65. It’s a 7 point game.
  • Lovely pass by Farmar, Lakers open the scoring
  • Artest and McGrady are a combined 3-21 from the field. The Rockets are still in the game. Scola and Rafer are a combined 6-18 from the field. So Yao is bailing them out right? He has 10 points on 5-10 shooting so not really. He’s doing fine, but not a major factor.
  • Sasha nails a deep three from the left wing
  • Sasha drive and kick to Pau, 18 footer right elbow extended, he hits it. Gasol has 18 points on 9 attempts. He also leads LA with 12 rebounds.
  • Lamar Odom strokes a fallaway along the baseline.
  • Timeout is coming if Houston don’t score here.
  • Head on the crossover, almost a steal … real deep, shot clock down to five, he takes a 28 footer, nails it
  • Lakers lead 81-69
  • Lamar takes a pull up J, misses, Scola ball watching, doesn’t box out, rebound Pau Gasol. He kicks it out to Farmar, Farmar nails a three.
  • Luther Head jacks a three, misses
  • Gasol nails another jumper
  • Timeout
  • Pau Gasol has 20 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists. He takes a rest now. He has played 33 minutes tonight
  • Kobe Bryant has 17 points, 3 dimes and 3 rebounds
  • Bynum has 9 and 7
  • Houston score inside
  • Lakers lead 86-71
  • 8 minutes to play
  • This game is pretty much over
  • Beautiful crossover by Brooks to get to the rim and hits the nifty layup
  • Farmar responds right back with a similar move
  • Down to 7 minutes
  • Lakers lead 88-73
  • Brooks has to force it, no gives it to Landry on the pick and pop, Landry misses, long rebound, Brooks gets it, takes the three, misses badly …. Lakers run out the other way, Farmar nails a three on the right wing.
  • Brooks picks up a tech. In fairness, he was hit on the three pointer on the other end. Surprised their was no call.
  • Vujacic hits the FT
  • Lakers up 92-73
  • 6:36 to play
  • Vujacic hits the teardrop in the lane
  • Yao spinnig baseline, fouled by Bynum, third team foul, on the deck. Inbounds to Yao, doubled, Vujacic strips him, out of bounds of Yao, Lakers ball.
  • Lakers lead 97-77
  • Bynum goes backdoor, lob pass, Bynum dunks over Yao.
  • Bynum has 11, 7 and 2 blocks. He’s altered a lot of shots in the paint tonight.
  • Kobe steals it at midcourt, takes it to the rim, Brooks with a good foul, doesn’t let Kobe get a shot up, fouled him hard.
  • 8 players on LA are averaging at least 20 minutes and at least 8 points
  • Kobe driving to the rim, fancy pass to Bynum, fouled on the interior shot, Bynum takes two, makes two.
  • Kobe with an alley ooop dunk on the break. Great work by Bynum trapping on the screen and roll and stealing the pass to ignite that break.
  • Ariza with the defensive rebound, tries to go coast to coast, passes to himself, refs don’t notice, he scrambles it down, takes a three from the corner, hits it
  • Head misses a 13 footer
  • Lakers run it the other way, Brooks sets up and takes a charge, on Odom.
  • Lakers unload their bench with Mihm, Powell and Walton

This is over, I’m calling it. Excellent performance from LA outside of the first quarter. Very poor performance by Houston.

Game Notes/Stats

  • I love that Lakers 9 man rotation. The starting five plus Odom, Ariza, Vujacic and Farmar.
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  1. Dave,

    Right now … it’s

    1. LA Lakers
    2. Boston Celtics

    and, then, everybody else.

    Sorta like we’ve been transported back in a Time Machine to the early-mid 1980’s.

    For some of us … a time at which NBA hoops was actually at its ZENITH … aesthetically, athletically, and culturally.

    Man, oh, man …

    There’s a Baller in the WHITE House and REAL Hoops are back in a BIG Way!!!

    How can it possibly get any better than that?

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