NBA Roundtable

Game One: Los Angeles vs Houston

In 2009 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on May 5, 2009 at 12:33 am

Game One

First Quarter

  • Kobe Bryant drops a 20 footer on the left wing over Battier to open the scoring for LA.
  • Yao Ming with a nice jump hook to put Houston up 4-4. Andrew Bynum returns the favour on the other end, left post, spins middle, right hand jump hook and hits it.
  • Yao Ming crosses the paint, posts up on the right block, face up jumper, misses. Andrew Bynum shows to the FT line, catch and shoot, misses.
  • Artest drives baseline on Ariza, Pau Gasol helps down, Artest throws a nice pass back to Scola who’s just inside the FT line, he hits the short shot. Nice pass from Artest.
  • Luis Scola posts up on the right block, turns baseline, jump hook off the glass, misses.
  • Brooks uses a high screen and roll on the right wing, he passes it back to Odom, Odom stands off him, Scola fakes it, nothing buying, now he takes it, misses it.

Houston lead 6-4 after four minutes

  • Kobe Bryant posts up on the right block, faces up, a shoulder shake, explodes left across the paint, hits the runner.
  • Ron Artest blows by Ariza, on right sideline, goes baseline, and dunks it home hard — he has a mohawk, ah yes, he said he’d get a mohawk if they won their playoff series

The game is tied 8-8 with under seven minutes to play

  • Turnover Lakers, on a Kobe pass to Gasol.
  • Houston incredibly stagnant — nobody moved for a good five seconds there, so easy to defend — Artest heaves a contested three off the dribble and hits it!
  • Nice pass inside by Brooks to Yao, but Yao is stripped on his way up. Turnover.
  • Artest bags another jumper
  • Ariza misses a three pointer over Scola — Artest is on Odom, a good matchup for Odom if he uses his length in the post instead of his strength.
  • Artest posts up Ariza once again, gets a nice short shot, misses though.
  • Next Rockets possession, Artest posts up Ariza, draws the help, passes out, Scola swings it to the corner, Battier takes a 3, misses it.

Houston leads 13-10 with four minutes to play

  • The Rockets get nothing going on that offensive possession, Artest heaves it at the buzzer, misses, tip in by Yao Ming.
  • Steal by Houston, breakaway layup for Scola, good
  • Nice play, post entry pass by Fisher to Odom, quick shot, turned baseline for the lefty jump hook from 8 feet, miss. Good shot.
  • Houston score another basket on the fastbreak — they’re on a 11-4 run right now.

Timeout — Houston leads 19-12

Final two minutes

  • Pick and pop between Kobe and Gasol, Yao holds back, Gasol hits an 18 footer from the top of the key. That’s LA’s first bucket in three plus minutes
  • Brooks knocks down the pull up jumper
  • Lamar Odom drives down the left hand side of the lane and hits the running layup. Nice drive.
  • Battier rips the ball out of Kobe’s hands as Bryant tries to pass off the ball. Kobe could have got a tech for his reaction there, didn’t though.
  • Von Wafer travels 34 feet from the hoop — nice job by Vujacic to pressure the ball on the catch.
  • Bryant finds a cutting Vujacic for a layup

It’s 21-18 Houston with one minute to play

  • Vujacic deflects Von Wafer’s dribble into the backcourt, Von Wafer runs it down, great defense by Vujacic all the way back up, Von Wafer picks up his dribble, no pass on, he holds onto it, a teammate comes up and gets the ball, three seconds on the clock, heaves a shot, misses. Bad play from Von Wafer, excellent defense from Vujacic.
  • Yao Ming picks up his second foul and checks out
  • Pau Gasol misses a left handed jam — off a screen and roll.
  • Vujacic smacks Battier in the face with his left arm while trying to tap out, successfully tapping out, the loose rebound. Not a dirty play, just unlucky. A lot of blood pouring out of Battier’s face, cut just above his eye.

The Lakers are 8-25 from the field for 32% shooting. Good defense from Houston.

Second Quarter

Houston leads 21-18 to star the second quarter

Adelman gave some credit to the Lakers pressure defense for LA’s run late in the first quarter. Adelman was unhappy with his players trying to dribble their way out of trouble, and wants more ball movement.

  • Turnover Rockets, fastbreak Lakers, 3-on-1, passes it to Ariza who is trailing for the two handed dunk. Lakers lead 22-21.
  • Turnover Rockets, three second violation.
  • Pau Gasol posting up Chuck Hayes, Hayes holding his ground, Gasol turns middle, jump hook, great look at the rim, misses, Hayes rebound, loose ball foul on Gasol going for the rebound. Gasol can get an easy shot against Hayes every time, he just needs to concentrate on using his length and not his strength.
  • Landry is defending Ariza, Artest still on Odom. Ariza makes a great cut, Pau finds him out of the low post, easy two for Ariza.
  • Odom picks up his second foul — Landry makes two FTs
  • Kyle Lowry jets into the open court, goes coast to coast and hits the layup. Great take by Lowry.
  • Defensive rebound Lowry, he looks to push it, a little dribble penetration, passes out to Barry who came of a screen, catch and shoot from three, misses. Offensive rebound Hayes, out to Artest. Artest dribbles the ball, then banks home a three pointer — lucky boy — haha, great face from Artest on the way back down, he knows it!

Timeout — Houston lead 29-24 with 8 minutes to go

  • Good rebound by Bynum inside in the paint. Hayes and Landry were lurking for that one.
  • Kobe Bryant goaltends a spinning layup from Landry, good call.
  • Josh Powell knocks down an 18 foot jump shot over Landry
  • Houston get a three pointer to go, I missed who shot the ball. Barry I think.
  • Bynum in the low post, Hayes pushes him out of the post, turnover.

Halfway point in the second quarter — 34-26 Houston

  • Andrew Bynum down on the left post, squares up Yao, knocks down the 10 footer
  • Yao Ming with a beautiful fadeaway shot over Bynum along the baseline. Tough shot, well contested.
  • Andrew Bynum makes an aggressive move, faces up Yao, Yao pressures him, Bynum turns back to the basket, backs him down, spins baseline, jump hook, misses. Nice footwork from Bynum.

Houston lead 36-28 with five minutes to play

  • Andrew Bynum gets an offensive rebound on Kobe’s missed jumper, Bynum hits the 10 footer in the middle of the key.
  • Barry throws the ball away, seventh turnover, fastbreak for LA, Barry gives up a good foul and stops Fisher from getting up a shot. Fish makes two at the line
  • Ariza deflects a poor pass from Brooks, knocks it out to midcourt, he dives after it but it goes out of bounds.
  • Kobe Bryant rips down a rebound, his sixth of the night. He hasn’t been scoring but he’s trying hard to find some way to impact this game.
  • Turnover by Trevor Ariza. Good trap by Houston.

Houston lead 38-32 with three minutes to go

  • Artest and Ariza are the leading scorers for their teams, with 10 and 8 points respectively.
  • Yao Ming has great deep position inside on Gasol, Pau goes for the steal, doesn’t get it, angry dunk from Ming!
  • Fisher drops a 23 footer from the right wing over Brooks
  • Yao Ming backing down Gasol, getting some joy, Gasol playing his left shoulder, Yao goes left for a right handed jump hook, great contest from Pau, misses badly. Yao choose the wrong option there.
  • Artest bags a long jumper on the left wing. Houston up 6 with under two minutes to play
  • Pau Gasol draws a foul down in the paint and hits two at the line
  • Terrible possession, pick and pop with Scola, he turns down the 18 footer and passes to Battier in the corner who was covered with 6 seconds on the shot clock, Battier fakes, Odom not buying it, Battier jab steps several times, Odom knows he’s not driving, Odom gets closer and makes himself tall, Battier throws it up at the buzzer and misses badly.
  • Kobe working on Battier over on the left wing, he drives left, takes a runner off glass, misses. He’s 3-11 from the floor in the first half
  • Pau Gasol trips Brooks 30 feet from the rim, Brooks makes two at the line

Final possession — 18.5 seconds to play — Lakers ball. Yao Ming checks out to avoid picking up a foul. Kobe Bryant dribbles upcourt, milks the clock, high screen and roll, a little late in the shot clock, Kobe doesn’t drive, just steps behind the screen and takes a 22 footer, hits it!

Houston lead 43-40 at halftime

Third Quarter

  • A couple of early hoops for the Rockets – a 17 footer for Scola, a post up turning into a jump hook for Yao, a nice dish from Artest to Scola for the easy two pointer. They’re up 49-40
  • Bynum defensive rebo0und, outlet, Kobe into the frontcourt, drives to the rim, layup
  • Andrew Bynum gets great position low in the paint, pass inside, Bynum turns and shoots over Yao, hits it
  • Yao Ming turns it over in the post, but the Lakers give it right back. Their third turnover of the quarter already.
  • Yao Ming posts up on the left block, squares up Bynum, shoots a 10 footer, misses, rebound Gasol.
  • Nice ball movement from the Lakers, Bynum ends up with a 10 footer and hits it.
  • Ron Artest has his pocket picked, Ariza on the steal, into the open court, to the rim, breakaway dunk for Ariza

Timeout Houston — 49-48 Rockets lead with 8 minutes to play

  • Brooks nails a three pointer on the left wing as the shot clock expires. Nice shot over the outstretched hand of Kobe Bryant.
  • Yao Ming drifts off of Bynum, pass to Bynum, he’s open from 11 feet, misses the short shot
  • Fisher on the left wing, doing a lot of dribbling, spinning, creates his own shot, a contested pull up J from 16 feet, rims in, he gets the friendly roll
  • Yao Ming posts up, kickout, re-post, Yao takes a quick jumper, hits it
  • Great screen by Yao Ming to knock out Fisher, Brooks dancing in the paint, kicks it out to Artest, he nails a three pointer. Bynum had to rush back to Yao because Yao was starting to post up Fisher, that left LA short handed defensively.

The Rockets are on a 10-2 run over the last two minutes

  • Kobe Bryant knocks down a three pointer from the top of the key
  • Brooks blows by Fisher, into the paint, fouled by Fisher, before the shot. Sideline inbounds, over to Brooks on the right wing, high screen and roll, drives right down the baseline, layup, good!
  • Brooks in the corner, has the baseline open, he drives down, Lakers collapse defensively, Brooks passes along the baseline to Scola who’s spotting up for the jumper, he has an 18 footer, blocked by Ariza.
  • The Lakers deflect the ball back into the backcourt, end of bounds on the far end. Inbounds to Brooks, only two seconds on the shot clock, takes a bounce and throws up a 60 footer, close but no cigar
  • Lovely spin move off the left block from Yao Ming, he spins baseline and finishes strongly in the paint.

Both teams are tied at 28 points in the paint

  • Aaron Brooks knifes into the paint and hits the runner
  • Kobe Bryant posts up on the right elbow, shoots, hits it
  • Ron Artest works his way into the paint and draws a foul, it’s on Ariza. Artest gets one of two to go.

Houston leads 66-59 with three minutes to play

  • Loose ball foul on Odom going for an offensive rebound. Good work by Yao.
  • Battier air balls a three from the left corner
  • Kobe Bryant drops a 17 footer over Shane Battier. He has 19 points now.
  • Battier fakes the pass out of the corner, Kobe bites and jumps out to the wing, the baseline is open, Battier rolls to the hole, layup
  • Artest has held Odom to 5 points and 2 rebounds so far. He’s done a great job of containing him.
  • Artest works the pick and pop with Scola, gets him a wide open 17 footer, misses
  • Kobe Bryant comes back down and hits another jumper — his shooting has been very good here in the third
  • Nice ball movement by Houston to find Artest open in the corner, but he misses the three
  • Kobe Bryant takes a very quick shot, a long three, rims out — two for one option
  • Von Wafer drives into the paint, kicks it out to Brooks, misses, offensive rebound Landry, little jump hook in the lane, good
  • Kobe Bryant dribbles upcourt, drives into the paint, kicks it out to Farmar in the right corner, he nails it!

Fourth Quarter

The Rockers lead 70-67

Doug Collins made a good comment on the air — In the three final games of the season series, all of them have been very tight at the end of the third quarter with the Lakers dominating the fourth quarters. Let’s see if history repeats itself tonight.

A couple of bad possessions, turnovers on two possession, and a bad pass thrown by Kobe to Odom’s back on the third possession.

  • Shannon Brown fell over, Lowry stopped on a dime and hit the long two
  • Kobe drains a 21 footer. He has made 7 of his last 10 shots
  • Yao Ming posts up on the left block, Yao spins baseline, slam dunk, nope, fouled and stopped from dunking. Yao makes two at the line.
  • Kobe cuts across the lane, from the left elbow down to the right block, Odom finds him, quick fadeaway, misses, Odom gets on a loose rebound, putback, good
  • Yao Ming looks knackered, hands on knees, body humped over
  • Gasol stripped Yao on the previous possession, turnover.
  • Battier strips Bryant on a baseline drive, out of bounds off Battier. Inbounds to Kobe, Kobe pivoting, left, right, back left, fadeaway, great contest, miss.
  • Houston throw the ball away on their way up the floor … Lakers pass it inside to Gasol, slam dunk.

Timeout Houston — Rockets lead 74-73 — silly mistakes are costing the Rockets this game.

  • Brooks doubled on the left wing on the catch for some unknown reason, quick pass inside to Yao, pass across the paint to Landry, deflected out of bounds. The Lakers are looking to trap the ball. Inbounds, nice pass inside to Scola who draws a foul, and hits two FTs.
  • Artest is defending Kobe, Kobe top of the key, quick first step, blows by him, stops and pops from the left elbow.
  • Brown on the breakaway, to the rim, slam dunk, fouled by Lowry. Wow, Brown doubled pumped in the air, great athleticism. He could be great in a dunk contest, he looks like he’s flying when he’s in the air.

The Lakers have led for only 33 seconds tonight, but they’ve just gotten the lead back after those FTs from Brown.

  • Ron Artest on the right wing, fakes the pass into the post, drives left, two dribbles, pull up J, hits it plus the foul, hits the FT.
  • Kobe gets an isolation with the shot clock at five, out on the right wing on the perimeter, he rises up and shoots it, misses, long rebound, goes out of bounds.
  • Yao Ming pops outside and drills a 21 footer
  • Yao Ming fouls Pau Gasol, not called (hands weren’t straight up + pushing), rebound tapped, Odom rips it down, putback, into the ribs of Yao Ming, Yao fouls him and it’s called. Odom misses both.
  • Shannon Brown picks up a loose ball foul on Odom’s missed FT
  • Brooks creating off the bounce, nice drive and dish to an open Artest in the right corner, misses. Great defense by Shannon Brown on that possession.
  • Lowry rips the rebound away from Brown
  • Brooks uses a high screen and roll with Yao Ming, he goes away from the screen, drives inside, Lakers collapse defensively in the paint, Brooks stops and hits the FT line J

6 minutes to play — 83-77 Rockets lead after a 7-0 run from Houston

  • Luis Scola yanks down his 8th rebound
  • Kobe Bryant has taken 27 shots and only 1 free throw — great sign for LA
  • Lamar Odom deflects a pass at the top of the key, out to midcourt, Lamar Odom tries to save it from going out of bounds, doesn’t do it … hang on, replay shows he was inbounds. Bad call.
  • Oh my, Brooks split the show on the screen and roll, sliced his way into the paint and hits a layup
  • Yao Ming falls down in the middle of the paint, Pau Gasol drives right and dunks it home …. Yao isn’t getting up, he’s holding his right knee. Kobe’s left knee hit Yao’s right knee, he was jumping through the paint and made contact. Yao still hasn’t gotten up.

Five minutes to play — Yao will stay in the game, They took him back to the locker room, he stopped on the way there and asked to go back into the game, he’s doing some bending drills to figure out whether he can move well enough to play, he thinks so, he’s coming back out. A lot of Lakers fans near Yao’s entry are giving him a hand.

Houston lead 85-79

  • Kobe Bryant faces up Battier 16 feet out on the right wing, takes it, Battier in his face, misses. Kobe is 12-28.
  • Excellent rejection from Lamar Odom on Brooks’ runner, out of bounds, in to Artest, Houston swing the ball around, Scola forces a drive, bad pass, turnover. Scola has to shoot that, there was only two seconds on the clock and Battier had no space. That’s Houston’s 7th turnover in the fourth quarter — that’s ridiculous.
  • Lamar Odom offensive rebound over Artest, putback, good.
  • Yao Ming knocks down a 22 foot jumper over Odom — he has 22 points — huge shot. Good contest by Odom.
  • Nice pass to a cutting Kobe by Odom, who was posting up, Kobe throws the ball out to Fisher who is open in the left corner, he misses it
  • Yao Ming low post, one dribble, turns over his left shoulder, he’s not in rhythm, fadeaway, contested, misses … out of bounds off of Kobe? Rockets ball regardless.
  • Ron Artest posts up Ariza, backs him down, fadeaway middle, hits it

Houston is on a 13-4 run over the past 6 minutes

  • A loose ball foul on Pau Gasol on the offensive glass — Yao hits the deck, but he’s fine, thankfully — Yao makes two FTs.

Houston leads 91-81 with two minutes to play

  • Artest loses the defensive rebound, spills loose, Gasol picks it up and dunks.
  • Pau Gasol 3/4 Yao from the baseline, Brooks throws the pass, Gasol deflects on it, dives on the ball, Brooks dive on it too and the little fella rips it away from Gasol, passes it to Yao, fouled inside. Yao makes both.

Timeout Lakers — Rockets up 93-83 with 1:40 to play

  • Kobe gets a high screen and roll with Gasol, Yao defending him, Kobe drives hard down the right of the lane, picks up his dribble, slithers to his left through two defenders, to the rim, fouled. He makes one of two FTs.
  • Backcourt pressure from LA, Kobe fouls, not intentional. Battier makes two at the line.
  • Kobe Bryant drives into the paint, jumps into Yao, misses, refs bail him out with a foul. Kobe makes two. Lakers down 9 with 1:24 to play.
  • Houston milks the clock, some fancy dribbling here, Brooks drives into the paint late in the shot clock, odd looking shot, misses
  • Fisher air balls a three, tapped out by Gasol, out of bounds of Houston.

47 seconds to play — 9 point game

  • Kobe Bryant to the rim, hits a layup. He beat Battier easily off the bounce there.
  • Brooks is fouled in the backcourt as LA attempt for a steal, Brooks makes one of two to push the lead back to 8

Timeout Lakers — 36 seconds to play — this is pretty much over, Rockets win

  • Kobe throws a nice pass inside to Pau for the wide open dunk, as Houston worry about the three point line.
  • Lowry gets fouled at midcourt, no wait, timeout. The Lakers are doing good things with their pressure defense, just a little unlucky that they haven’t gotten a turnover yet.
  • Inbounds to Yao, who’s fouled, and Yao makes his FTs. He is now 33-35 from the line in the playoffs
  • 24 seconds — Kobe runs full court and dunks it easily in just six seconds
  • Inbounds to Lowry, foul on Vujacic, he thought he had Lowry tied up but the refs disagree. Lowry makes his FTs
  • 16 seconds — Lakers missed three
  • Houston dribbles out the clock

Final Thoughts

The Rockets took home court tonight. Very good win. If they can play that type of defense four times in seven games, they’ll have a shot at this series.

The Lakers offense was very poor tonight, they need to play more intelligently in future games.

  • Kobe was inefficient and settled for bad shots.
  • They didn’t go to Pau Gasol nearly enough.
  • Lamar Odom didn’t show up.
  • Bynum was doing good things offensively when he wasn’t shooting jumpers outside of 15 feet, but he managed only 15 minutes.
  • The supporting cast had a bad shooting night from the perimeter, which allowed the Rockets to collapse into the paint and cause Kobe problems.
  • The Lakers resorted to a lot of isolation plays for Kobe Bryant. This made their offense stagnant, and limited both ball and player movement. It made LA easy to defend, and easy to load up on Kobe to take away his driving lanes.
  • The Lakers need to use Yao Ming a lot more in pick and rolls, especially when Gasol and Odom are in the game together. Although Bynum, would still have a threat because Yao would have to go to Kobe on the drive, and Bynum is a tough cover for anyone rotating over to him.
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