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    GAME 1
    LAKERS 72, ROCKETS 71 Recap | Box Score
    Photos | Quotes
  • Highlights:
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    GAME 2
    LAKERS 98, ROCKETS 84 Recap | Box Score
    Photos | Quotes
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  • Postgame news conference: Play

    GAME 3
    ROCKETS 102, LAKERS 91
    Recap | Box Score
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  • Postgame news conference: Play

    GAME 4
    LAKERS 92, ROCKETS 88 (OT)
    Recap | Box Score
    Photos | Quotes
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  • Postgame news conference: Play

    GAME 5
    LAKERS 97, ROCKETS 78 Recap | Box Score
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  • Postgame news conference: Play


  • ROCKETS POLL
    How would you categorize the 2003-04 Rockets season?
    ROCKETS POLL
    How would you categorize the 2003-04 Rockets season?
    View Results


    Click here to view the Rockets 2004 Playoff Guide


    Apr. 29 - Congratulations on a great season, Rockets! You played well in the playoffs, and I am sure great things are ahead next year. I hear a lot of talk about what the Rockets need to do next year. Please do not trade Steve Francis! He has endured criticism all year like a man, never whined or complained like so many other "superstar" players. Francis leads with his heart and is a Rocket Houston fans can be proud to have representing their team and their city. Please don't break up the core group of Yao, Jim Jackson, Cuttino Mobley and Francis. Add some more efficient role players and a power forward who can get physical and score enough to stop some of the double teams on Yao. Anyway, thanks for making this Rocket fan of 23 years (since the '81 finals, when I was just a pup) optimistic for the future. And thanks for an exciting year.
    --Paul Drake, Houston
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  • Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Playoff Schedule
    Game 1 Sat., Apr. 17 @ Los Angeles Lakers 72, Rockets 71
    (Lakers lead series 1-0)
    Game 2 Mon., Apr. 19 @ Los Angeles Lakers 98, Rockets 84
    (Lakers lead series 2-0)
    Game 3 Fri., Apr. 23 @ Houston Rockets 102, Lakers 91
    (Lakers lead series 2-1)
    Game 4 Sun., Apr. 25 @ Houston Lakers 92, Rockets 88 (OT)
    (Lakers lead series 3-1)
    Game 5 Wed., Apr. 28 @ Los Angeles Lakers 97, Rockets 78
    (Lakers win series 4-1)

    Season Ends In L.A.
    Jim Jackson's first season in a Rockets uniform ended in a disappointing fashion.
    Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE/Getty Images
    April 28 - Just like in their last trip to STAPLES Center, the Rockets played even with the Lakers for a half. And just like the previous visit, Houston imploded in the third quarter. Leading 48-47 at the halftime break Wednesday in Game 5, the Rockets looked ready to put their previous failures in the series behind them. But then the bottom fell out. The Lakers got hot and the Rockets went stone cold as L.A. outscored Houston 25-9 in the decisive quarter to put the game and the Rockets' hopes for a series comeback out of reach. A similar scenario developed in Game 2 when Houston found itself up two at the half only to be outscored by 12 in the third quarter. The Rockets had a solid season, making the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and hanging with the powerful Lakers in every game of this first-round series but ultimately their carelessness with the ball and sloppy execution caught up with them. It should be an entertaining offseason in Houston as management will have to make the determination whether this team needs a complete makeover or another season together after settling into new coach Jeff Van Gundy's system. Stay tuned to rockets.com for the latest developments throughout the offseason.
  • Rockets-Lakers Game 5 Polaroid Photo Gallery
  • Rockets-Lakers Game 5 video highlights: 56k | 300k
  • Postgame news conference: Play
  • NBA.com: Rockets vs. Lakers

  • Notes & Quotes
    Rockets.com will be your No. 1 source for Rockets playoff updates. Be sure to check back throughout the playoffs for daily notes and quotes from the players and Coach Van Gundy.
  • April 23: Game 3 Pregame Quotes
  • April 21: Video interviews following today's practice
  • April 17: Rockets.com: 5 Things from Game 1
  • April 16: Rockets.com previews the Rockets-Lakers series
  • April 16: Getting ready for the Lakers
  • April 14: Playoff talk
  • April 9: Rockets owner Leslie Alexander

    Around the Web
    See what others are saying about the Rockets vs. Lakers series.

    THURSDAY, APRIL 29
  • Los Angeles Times:
    Lakers Enjoy Close-Out Sail
  • Los Angeles Daily News:
    Rockets riding learning curve
  • Houston Chronicle:
    A strangely normal finish
  • Los Angeles Daily News:
    Shaq holds third-quarter block party
  • Los Angeles Times:
    Game 5 Report
  • Los Angeles Daily News:
    Experience pays off
  • Orange County Register:
    Van Gundy can't earn a passing grade
  • Los Angeles Times:
    They Were Ready for Anything



  • April 1, 2004
    Lakers 93, Rockets 85
    A big game from Cuttino Mobley (26 points) couldn't help Houston overcome Kobe Bryant (26 points) and Karl Malone (20 points, 14 rebounds). Yao Ming struggled all night against Shaquille O'Neal, finishing with just six points while O'Neal posted 18 points and eight boards. The Rockets hung close with L.A. for three periods but a fourth quarter surge lifted the Lakers to victory.
    Recap | Box Score | Photo Gallery
    Video: 56k | 300k

    March 3, 2004
    Lakers 96, Rockets 93
    The Lakers rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to wipe away a monster performance from Yao Ming. Los Angeles trailed, 81-71, after an alley-oop dunk by Steve Francis with 7:46 remaining before embarking on a 13-0 run to take a three-point lead. Kobe Bryant had 18 points and a season-high 13 assists for L.A. while Yao dropped in 33 points and eight rebounds in a losing cause.
    Recap | Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery
    Video: 56k | 300k

    February 11, 2004
    Rockets 102, Lakers 87
    A huge 15-point fourth quarter by Yao Ming helped the Rockets to a solid victory over the Lakers at Toyota Center. Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers but fouled out of a game for the first time this season. Yao finished with 29 points while Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley added 21 apiece. Mobley also handed out a season-high 10 assists.
    Recap | Box Score | Quotes
    Video: 56k | 300k

    December 25, 2003
    Rockets 99, Lakers 87
    The much-anticipated first meeting of the season between Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal was a wash but Yao's Rockets came away with a convincing win on L.A.'s home court. O'Neal (22 points, 10 rebounds) had a slight edge over Yao (18 points, eight boards) statistically but the Lakers center managed just four points in the decisive fourth period when the Rockets put the game away.
    Recap | Box Score | Photo Gallery
    Video: 56k | 300k