The Lakers lead the series 3-2 and I expect them to end the series tonight.
Houston jump out to an 8-1 lead after two shots, by Scola and Brooks, hit over the out-stretched hand of Bynum. Steal by Ron Artest, breakaway layup. The Rockets lead 10-1 after three and a half minutes.
- Battier blocks Bryant’s pull up J from 18 feet on the top of the key, turnover, but Brooks turns it over on the fastbreak.
- Bynum offensive rebound, misses the short 5 foot shot, rebound Gasol, miss. LA is 0-6 from the field.
- Aaron Brooks nails a step back 3
Timeout Lakers — Houston leads 13-1 after four and a half minutes
- Houston go back down to Scola, spinning in the paint, hits the layup
- Next possession, Scola is back down on the left post, drives hard right, fouled, hits the layup.
Houston is up 17-1 … and Kobe hits a driving layup
- The Rockets go back down to Scola on the left post, spins middle, hits the jump hook in the lane
- LA is 1-10 from the field, Houston is 8-12.
- Kobe blocks Battier to force a shot clock violation — nice ball movement by Houston, passed up too many shots though.
- Ron Artest gets into the paint, hits a runner — Houston lead 21-3
- Pau Gasol deep in the paint, finishes over the shorter Rockets players
- Derek Fisher makes an 18 footer, quick shot after the push upcourt
- Kobe Bryant to the rim, layup. Lakers on a 6-2 (Hayes short shot) run.
Timeout Houston — Rockets lead 23-9 with two minutes left in the first quarter
- Artest and Scola (18 footer) score back to back baskets. But Houston is just trading baskets with LA. Rebound Scola, his seventh.
- Kobe fouls Battier, hit him on the mid section on a three pointer, no call. Miss.
- Jordan Farmar hits his second straight three pointer — lead down to 12. Big shots from Farmar.
- Good block by Odom on Landry’s four footer. Houston lead 30-19 after two minutes.
- Good job by Lowry pushing the ball in the open court, nice drive and kick to Ron Artest on the right wing, three pointer on the way, hits it! Huge shot!
- Lamar Odom gets an offensive rebound, tries to post up Landry, struggles to back him down, takes a bad off balance shot, misses, loose ball foul on Bynum (second foul on Drew)
- Turnover, Farmar on the break, he goes coast-to-coast, layup. The lead is back down to 12.
9 minutes to play in the second quarter
Lakers lead 10-0 in bench points as Lowry misses a long jump shot
- Gasol picks up an offensive foul, nice flop by Scola. Those flops bug the crap out of me.
- Carl Landry throws down a dunk!
- Luke Walton takes a really bad shot over Landry out of a post up, misses, loose ball foul on Scola. Terrible shot. Walton isn’t beating Landry in the post, play smart, don’t do that.
- Vujacic and Gasol playing the two man game, nice pick and pop for Gasol, he hits the 17 footer
- Von Wafer rattles home a 20 footer … Vujacic returns the favour
- Lowry beats his man off the bounce, to the rim, layup, no help for Brown on that defensive play
Midway point in the second quarter, Houston up 14, they lead 39-27
- Von Wafer drains a three pointer — 17 point lead — timeout Phil Jackson
- Lamar Odom has pulled down a bunch of rebounds over the last few minutes — not a lot of scoring, only two baskets (both for LA) over the last two and a half minutes.
- Scola with a nice pump fake, Odom bites, draws the foul and almost hits a jumper from the left elbow off the glass. Scola hits two FTs to put Houston back up 15 points.
- Kobe Bryant on the right wing, faces up Artest, drives left, gets the step, to the rim, layup
- Battier tries the reverse layup, Bryant blocks him, third block of the night for Kobe already.
- Scola on the right block, spins baseline, reverse layup as Pau gives up on the play. Terrible defense.
- Ron Artest runs away from Kobe Bryant and Kobe looks to get into it with Artest. Scola calms him down. Kobe accidently elbowed Artest in the face. Kobe gets a tech, his fifth of the postseason, seven and you get suspended.
- Final two minutes — Houston up 14
- Artest throws up a prayer, an off balance fadeaway J off the dribble with a hand in his face, misses, rebound Scola … drive and kick to Battier in the left corner, miss
- Lakers turn it over on the fastbreak
- Final minute — same score
- Brooks throws away the ball, turnover. Fastbreak LA, Houston get back, Ariza is open on the right wing, LA find him, Scola rotates out, nice fake, easily drives by Scola, to the rim, draws a blocking foul on Hayes, hits one of two at the line.
- A touch foul on Farmar as Brooks dribbles upcourt … he makes two of two.
- Kobe Bryant drives past Artest, into the lane, slam dunk!
- LA deflects an interior pass by Scola, it bounces out to Brooks, he’s wide open on the right wing for a three pointer, Brooks nails it!
Houston leads 52-36 — Scola has 18 of those 52 points. Scola has 9 boards too — terrific first half from Scola.
Fisher misses a three pointer on the first possession. If he had of made that, I think that would have been a big shot momentum wise for LA.
- Ariza in the passing lane, picks off the pass, ahead of the field, breakaway dunk.
- Chuck Hayes has played incredible defense on Pau Gasol tonight, and did a great job on that first possession of the half.
- Kobe Bryant gets a pick and roll with Bynum at the top of the key, he drives hard right, kicks it out to Ariza who is wide open on the left wing, he drains a three pointer. That brings the lead down to 11. Nice 5-0 run from LA to start the half.
- Artest throws away the ball, turnover.
- The Lakers go to Pau Gasol on the left block, spins baseline, lefty hook, hits it! 7-0 run! 9 point game!
- Scola muscles up a shot on a drive, misses badly, rebound Gasol. Ariza takes a three on the other end, misses, rebound tapped out by Gasol, Kobe picks up the loose ball, gets into the paint, draws a foul and he’ll shoot two.
Timeout Houston after 2 minutes and 42 seconds. Their 16 point lead has been cut down to 9, and now Kobe cuts that down to 7 points.
The pressure is about to crank up to another level on Houston. It’ll be very interesting to see how they handle it. I like LA to go on and win from here.
- Battier has a three pointer from the right wing rim in and out, offensive rebound by Scola, putback. Nice hustle by Scola.
- Baseline inbounds to Kobe, he catches it on the left sideline, Kobe faces up and drains a three pointer. 6 point game.
- Brooks misses a quick step back J, bad shot to take.
- The Lakers are all over the offensive glass, they got two shots there, and won a jump ball off the second miss. Both Bynum and Gasol kept that ball alive, great effort.
- Scola baits Ariza into a foul on a nice pump fake. Scola passes before the whistle is blown though, didn’t think he was going to get the foul, so he doesn’t shoot two.
- Battier loses the ball on a spin move, good defense by Bryant, Ariza picks up the loose ball. Ariza dribbles upcourt, passes back to the top of the key after dribbling into the corner, pass inside to Gasol, he hits the short 6 foot shot in the middle of the paint.
- Bynum with a great effort on the offensive glass, taps the rebound to himself, but gets stripped after he brings it back down.
- Bynum rips a defensive rebound away from Hayes. He tapped that one to himself too. I like the effort.
- Kobe Bryant drives into the paint, misses the short shot, but gets the foul. He came off a high pick and roll, drove down the left hand side of the lane, stopped deep, doubled, turned, bumped, and misses the turnaround. Kobe makes two at the line.
LA has outscored the Rockets 16-2 in the first 6 minutes of the third quarter. Houston are only up two points now. The score is 54-52 Houston as they miss another shot.
- The Lakers go inside to Gasol, he has deep position, a step inside the paint, he turns middle, jump hook, great look at the rim, misses badly but it goes out off Scola.
- Battier steals the ball away from Bryant, sloppy slow telegraphed bounce pass picked off as soon as it left his hands, Battier passes ahead, fastbreak, to Landry, layup plus the foul. He makes the three point play.
- Scola air balls a 18 footer on the left baseline, nice drive and kick from Landry, rebound Battier, layup Battier!
- Scola tries to steal the looping post entry pass into Gasol, Gasol taps it out of bounds trying to keep the ball away from Scola, turnover.
- Brooks drains a three pointer out of the corner — the lead is back up to 8
Timeout Phil Jackson — Houston leads 62-54 — with four minutes to play
- Farmar misses a three pointer from the top of the key. He was wide open after Brooks doubled off of him. Farmar has been sitting for a long time despite a bright start to the game from him.
- Hard foul by Houston, they knock Bryant to the floor along the baseline. Nice foul from Brooks.
- JVG — “This must be a tight spot [in the game], Phil Jackson is out of his seat” — Fun from JVG
- Brooks with a beautiful over and back dribble, completely loses his defender, blows by Gasol (pick and roll), goes left, off glass, goaltending on Odom. Beautiful drive.
2:30 to play — Houston lead 66-58
- Odom drives right on Artest off the right elbow, goes strong, elevates, lefty off glass, misses it, collects the rebound on the other side of the rim, putback, good.
- Landry with the spin move and layup, left post spun baseline, beats Odom easily — bad defense
- Farmar tries a contested three over Artest from the left corner, hits it! Big shot!
- Ron Artest bags a long two pointer over the outstreched hand of Pau Gasol
- Pau Gasol posts up on the left block, double team, Pau spins baseline away from the double team, jump hook, hits it
- Aaron Brooks hits a circus shot off the glass — 18 points for Brooks
- Kobe Bryant is blocked by Landry at the final moment on his drive, off a screen and roll, Houston grab the loose ball. They hold it for the final shot of the quarter, pick and pop between Brooks and Scola, Scola nets a 20 footer frmo the top of the key.
Houston weathered that third quarter Lakers rally and got ahead 74-65 behind their strong finish to the third quarter. Houston should be very proud of how their team has played tonight.
Houston lineup — Brooks, Lowry, Battier, Landry, Scola
Lakers lineup — Farmar, Vujacic, Walton, Odom, Gasol
- Lakers lead 12-4 on offensive rebounds
- Pau Gasol posts up on the left post, turns baseline, lefty hook, hits it
- Landry hits a freak shot as he muscles it up through Odom in the paint
- Great effort from Pau Gasol running down an offensive rebound that looked sure to go out of bounds … Odom gets a dunk off of that extra possession, nice drive and dump there.
- Scola pulls down his 12th rebound of the night — he’s been superb.
Timeout — Houston leads 76-69 and has possession of the ball with under 9 minutes to play
- Nice rebound pulled down by Landry off a Pau Gasol missed 14 foot face up jumper on the left wing
- Ron Artest takes a quick three pointer on the other end from the top of the key, he hits it! 10 point game
- Pau Gasol, shakes baseline, spins middle, hits the layup. Nice move to free himself from Hayes.
- Oh my, what a finish, nice pass to Hayes on the left baseline, he passes back to a cutting Landry at the FT line, hard powerful dunk by Landry. Odom fouled him but he couldn’t come close to stopping him from dunking the ball. He misses the FT.
- Kobe misses a contested fallaway off the dribble from 17 feet — bad shot
- Aaron Brooks uses the high pick and roll with Hayes, splits it (Gasol), gets into the lane, nice pass inside to Landry with the bounce pass, Landry fouled on the dunk attempt. He makes both FTs this time.
- Lamar Odom hits a big bucket, a 22 footer on the left sideline, to slow Houston’s momentum.
Midway point in the fourth quarter — Houston leads 82-73
- Aaron Brooks slices his way into the paint once again off the screen and roll, misses the floater, rebound Hayes, passes out to Brooks, Brooks thinks about attacking, holds it up and waits to setup the offense.
- LA turns it over — timeout Houston — five minutes to play, same score
- Landry knocks down a big jumper out of the timeout
- Kobe Bryant on the drive, tries a bank shot, misses, tapped in by Gasol. Ariza is about to re-enter. Actually Pau didn’t touch it, it just bounced in, Bryant bucket.
- Landry with an incredible effort — taps a loose offensive rebound twice, then jumps on the floor to secure the ball and calls a timeout to make sure he doesn’t get tied up.
Four minutes to play — Houston lead 84-75
- Brooks gets a high screen and roll, drives right, stops and pops from the right elbow, hits the pull up J
- Bryant misses a three pointer, air ball. Battier got a piece of that — second block on Bryant tonight?
- Aaron Brooks drops a 21 foot jumper from the left wing — great screen from Hayes to create some space for Brooks
- Turnover Lakers, Rockets ball. Houston are up 13 with three minutes to play — great position to win this game.
- Lakers go with a full court press, Houston beat it easily. The Rockets milk the clock, another high screen and roll, Brooks stripped on his drive but the ball goes right to Landry, he’s on the baseline, fouled as he goes hard to the rim. Fifth foul on Odom.
- Houston’s power forwards are 16-23 from the floor — wow!
- Bryant banks in a long jumper
Two minutes to play — Odom just fouled out, fouled Brooks trying to block Brooks’ running layup — Houston leads 89-77 with two Brooks FTs to follow
This game is over. Great win for Houston.
The Lakers should be ashamed that they lost twice in the playoffs to a Rockets team that is without their two best players.