Lakers Gameday | 11/09/08 | Lakers 111, Rockets 82


Lakers LogoLos Angeles Lakers
(5-0)
Western Conference Standing : 1
Streak: Won 5
Lakers Game day
Rockets LogoHouston Rockets
(4-3)
Western Conference Standing :5
Streak: Lost 1
Injury Report Injury Report
  • Sasha Vujacic (sprained right thumb) is probable.
  • http://nba.com/media/lakers/scores_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-y;">
    Team 1 2 3 4 F
    Houston Rockets 28 20 17 17 82
    Los Angeles Lakers 16 34 22 39 111
    • Shane Battier (inflammation in left foot)

    POST-GAME NUMBERS

  • 46 - points, for the Bench Mob. They increased the tempo of the game and were led by Jordan Farmars 16 points.
  • +45 - points in favor of the Lakers' in the second part of the game. The Lakers really started to pulled away in the start of the 4th.
  • 17-2 - points off turnovers in the first quarter of the game, against the Lakers.
  • 14-4 - run to start the 4th quarter and give the Lakers' a 17 point lead.
  • +14 - rebounds in favor of the Lakers' dominating the boards tonight against the Houston Rockets.
  • 10 - blocks for the Lakers' combined, Andrew Bynum with 3, Kobe Bryant had 2, Lamar Odom added 2 and Pau Gasol with 3.
  • 8 - turn overs in the 1st quarter for the Lakers' who started off on the wrong foot, and were down early in the quarter.
  • ---Francisco Gomez, Lakers.com
    LAKERS BEST
    Points
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    23
    Rebounds
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    15
    Assists
    Jordan Farmar
    J. Famar
    6
    Plus/Minus
    Trevor Ariza
    T. Ariza
    +34

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    STARTERS
    Los Angeles Lakers Houston Rockets
    Guard
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Guard
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Forward
    Vladimir Radmanovic
    V. Radmanovic
    Forward
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Center
    Andrew Bynum
    A. Bynum
    Guard
    Rafer Alston
    R. Alston
    Guard
    Tracy Mcgrady
    T. McGrady
    Forward
    Ron Artest
    R. Artest
    Forward
    Luis Scola
    L. Scola
    Center
    Yao Ming
    Y. Ming

    • POST-GAME
    • LAKERS.COM PREVIEW
    • AP PREVIEW
    • SCOUTING REPORT
    • LAKERS UPDATES
    • GAME NOTES

    Bryant, Gasol lead Lakers past Rockets

    LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 23 points, Pau Gasol added 20 points and 15 rebounds, and the unbeaten Los Angeles Lakers routed the Houston Rockets 111-82 on Sunday night.

    Jordan Farmar added 16 points and six assists and Andrew Bynum had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 65.8 percent in the second half. Los Angeles has won its five games by an average of 22.4 points.

    Aaron Brooks, a reserve, paced Houston (4-3) with 20 points and four assists. Yao Ming, Luis Scola and Carl Landry had 12 points apiece.

    The Rockets trailed by only seven entering the fourth quarter, but Farmar scored eight points, Gasol and Lamar Odom added four each, and the Lakers shot 9-of-10 during a 22-9 run to start the period, giving them a 94-75 lead. Los Angeles wound up outscoring Houston 39-17 in the fourth quarter.

    Houston's Tracy McGrady, a two-time NBA scoring champion and seven-time All-Star, had his second brutal shooting performance in a row at Staples Center, going 1-of-11 for three points two days after missing all five of his field-goal attempts and scoring two points in a 92-83 victory over the Clippers.

    Ron Artest also had an off night, shooting 2-of-11 and scoring eight points.

    The Lakers, who shot 43.5 percent in their first four games, wound up shooting 53.2 percent against Houston after going 5-of-17 in the first quarter. The Rockets shot 37.8 percent.

    Bryant scored six points and Derek Fisher added four during a 12-3 run that gave the Lakers a 67-57 lead with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

    Brooks entered with 2:25 left in the first quarter and scored 13 of the Rockets' 15 points in a span of 5:15, helping them build a 16-point lead. It was 41-28 when the Lakers started rolling, outscoring Houston 22-7 to finish the second quarter, and they were on top the rest of the way.

    Rafer Alston scored seven points and Yao added six during a 20-3 run that gave the Rockets a 22-9 lead, and it was 28-16 entering the second quarter. Since they shot 5-of-17 and committed eight turnovers in the opening period, the Lakers were fortunate they didn't trail by more.

    Notes: The Rockets won two of their three games against the Lakers last season, the first time they've won the season series since the 1996-97 season. ... The game was just the second for the Lakers since Nov. 1, but the first of four in a six-day period. ... Rockets F Shane Battier hasn't played this season because of a bone bruise in his left foot, and coach Rick Adelman isn't sure when he'll be ready to go. "He's really a key guy, he knows how to play,'' Adelman said. "He's doing more and more. We don't want to rush him back. He'll let us know when he can actually go out and practice.'' ... The Lakers are off to a 5-0 start for the first time since the 2003-04 season and the 10th time in franchise history. They won a team-record 11 straight to begin the 1997-98 season. ... Atlanta, also 5-0, is the NBA's only other unbeaten team.

    Mike TrudellLAKERS-NUGGETS PREVIEW

    by Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

    Heading into Sunday’s showdown with Houston, Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell chatted with Rockets.com writer Jason Friedman to get the skinny on the Rockets.

    Rockets-Lakers Preview

    The Los Angeles Lakers' trade for Pau Gasol in the middle of last season helped the team evolve from a contender to the favorite in the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets are hoping their offseason acquisition of Ron Artest has a similar impact.

    The Lakers look to remain undefeated as they host the transitioning Rockets on Sunday night in a matchup between championship hopefuls coming off uninspired victories.

    On Feb. 1, Los Angeles acquired an All-Star forward in a lopsided trade by getting Gasol from Memphis in exchange for expiring contracts and some younger, unestablished players. The move instantly put the Lakers among the favorites in the West, and the team met those expectations by advancing to the NBA finals, where it lost to Boston.

    Houston was another one of the conference's top teams last season, but it couldn't overcome the absence of Yao Ming in the playoffs, getting eliminated in the first round for the sixth straight time.

    With Yao fully recovered from a stress fracture in his left foot and Artest on board following an offseason trade with Sacramento, the Rockets expect to end that drought this season.

    To do so, however, they'll need to get past a shaky start. The Rockets opened 3-0, but dropped back-to-back games before grinding out a 92-83 victory over the winless Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

    "Even though we won tonight, it still wasn't an impressive game for the Houston Rockets," said Artest, who had 23 points to lead Houston in scoring for the first time. "We're still searching to find ourselves.

    "We haven't played good basketball yet. We need to play 48 minutes consistently. We have a long ways to go, but this was a good test for us. It's coming together and it's going to happen."

    Yao is among the Houston players who are struggling, averaging 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over the last three games.

    Though the Rockets escaped with a win Friday in their first of consecutive games at Staples Center, Artest knows they could use a more complete performance against the Lakers (4-0).

    "We're trying to learn each other and find out how we're going to win together," he said. "Some nights it's just going to be different people, and we've got to get used to that. I think sometimes we just step into the arena and think we're going to win, just because of our talent. And it can happen like that. But that's not going to beat the good teams."

    Though the Lakers certainly fall under that category, they didn't look like an elite club in their 106-88 win over the Clippers on Wednesday night. The Lakers trailed at halftime and shot below 40.0 percent for the second consecutive game, but they also held the Clippers to 38.9 percent shooting.

    "When you don't shoot the ball well, you've got to defend," said reigning league MVP Kobe Bryant, who had 27 points and went 8-for-21 from the field. "That's what we did."

    Coach Phil Jackson agreed with his star player, praising his team's ability to win when its shots weren't falling.

    "The mantra is that defense wins ballgames, your offense comes and goes," said Jackson, whose team is looking for its first 5-0 start since 2003-04. "If you just rely on your offense all the time, it's going to disappoint you at some level."

    The Lakers lost two of three against the Rockets last season, including their only meeting in Los Angeles in both teams' season opener. Houston's Tracy McGrady had 30 points in that game, but was held to a combined 20 points on 7-for-23 shooting in the other two meetings.

    Bryant, meanwhile, averaged 33.0 points against the Rockets despite shooting 39.8 percent from the field in those three contests.

    The Houston Rockets are an extremely solid team and they hope they have improved their chances by adding Ron Artest in the off-season.  They are a physical and mentally tough team and we must be ready to battle if we want to protect our home court tonight.

    Read more...
    LAKERS UPDATES

    UNDEFEATED STARTS
    With their victory over the Clippers November 5, the Lakers improved to 4-0 to start the season for the 10th time in franchise history dating back to their days in Minneapolis. The Lakers have started a season 5-0 or better on just five occasions, most recently opening the 2003-04 campaign with five consecutive victories. Under shead coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have started the season 5-0 or better twice (2003-04 and 2001-02). With the Bulls, Jackson also opened the season 5-0 twice, going 5-0 to start the 1995-96 season and 12-0 to open 1996-97. Below are a list of the Lakers longest undefeated streaks to start a season:

    1997-98 – 11-0 2008-09 – 4-0
    1987-88 – 8-0 1985-86 – 4-0
    2001-02 – 7-0 1971-72 – 4-0
    2003-04 – 5-0 1952-53 – 4-0
    1980-81 – 5-0 1949-50 – 4-0

    OPPONENTS UNDER 80
    In their victories over the Blazers (96-76) and the Clippers (117-79) to open the season, the Lakers held both of their opponents under 80 points. Only once have the Lakers held an opponent under 80 in three consecutive games since the inception of the shot clock in 1954-55, doing so from January 9-14 of 2004. The NBA record for consecutive games in which an opponent has scored fewer than 80 points is eight games, established by the Detroit Pistons from March 4-21 of 2004. For a season, the 2003-04 San Antonio Spurs hold the league record with 28 such games while the Lakers franchise record is eight games also established in 2003-04.
    (All records since the inception of shot clock prior to 1954-55 season).

    BACK-TO-BACK
    On the season, the Lakers are 1-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. This year, the Lakers will play 19 sets of back-to-back games during the 2008-09 regular season after having played 17 sets of back-to-backs in each of the previous two seasons. Last season, the Lakers were 13-4 in the first game and 12-5 in the second game of back-to-backs.

    GAME NOTES
    NOTES & CONNECTIONS

    The Lakers lost last season’s series with the Rockets 1-2 for the first time since the 1996-97 season (1-3). This will be the 181st meeting between the Lakers and Rockets with Los Angeles holding a 120-60 series advantage (98-54 since the Rockets moved to Houston). The Lakers are 5-5 against the Rockets in their last 10 overall games. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 10-7 all-time against the Rockets, 5-5 in their last 10. In Houston, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 road games against the Rockets and are 5-4 all-time at Toyota Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 19-11 against Houston. Kobe Bryant has scored 40 points or better in three of his last six games against Houston, including two games of 53 points. Both games broke his own series mark of 52 established at STAPLES Center in February of 2003. In 38 career games (33 starts) versus Houston, Bryant is averaging 26.8 points per game and in his last game at Toyota Center (3/16/08), surpassed 1,000 points for his career against the Rockets. Rockets guard Von Wafer was originally drafted by the Lakers in the second round (39th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft. Wafer appeared in 16 games during the 2005-06 season for the Lakers, scoring a total of 20 points in 73 minutes including a high game of nine points. Additionally, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest (as well as Elton Brand) played together as teenagers in the famed AAU program at Riverside Church in New York.