Lakers Gameday | 05/06/09 | Lakers 111, Rockets 98

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Houston Rockets 25 32 20 21 98
Los Angeles Lakers 39 18 29 25 111
Lakers Game Leaders
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
40 Points
Field Goals: 16 of 27
FG: 59%
Pau GasolPau Gasol
14 Rebounds
Defensive: 9
Offensive: 5
Luke Walton
Luke Walton
5 Assists
6 Points
0 Turnovers
Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol
22 Points
4 Blocks


  • Lakers 111, Rockets 98: Postgame 2
  • Lakers - Rockets Running Diary 2
  • Phil Jackson: Odom “Likely” To Start
  • Game 2 Scouting Report
  • TNT’s Smith and Webber: L.A. Is Tough Enough
  • Playoff Podcast #11: Jason Friedman
  • Video

    Post-Game Numbers
  • 72.7 - L.A.’s shooting percentage in a fantastic first quarter, led by Kobe Bryant’s 7-for-11 (15 points) and Pau Gasol’s 5-of-5 (13 points), producing a 39-25 Lakers lead.
  • 69.2 - Pau Gasol’s shooting percentage on 9-of-13. Gasol thoroughly handled the Game 1 star, Yao Ming, who had no answer for the Spaniard’s quick-action spin moves, 15-footers and turnaround hooks. Gasol also got Ming in foul trouble, limiting him to 26 minutes after he’d played for 40 on Monday.
  • 20 - Turnovers by Houston, leading to 23 Lakers points. This stat was hugely impactful on the game, and highlighted L.A.’s defensive activity (10 steals, eight blocks to eight total from Houston). The Lakers turned the ball over only 11 times for 11 Rockets points.
  • 8:39 - Minutes played by Andrew Bynum, who missed both shots he took and committed three fouls against Yao Ming. If there was a major negative point in L.A.’s game and the series, it’s that L.A. continues not to get much help from their young center who’s still trying to regain his confidence subsequent to his injury comeback.
    --Mike Trudell,

    Los Angeles Lakers Houston Rockets

    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher

    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant

    Trevor Ariza
    T. Ariza

    Lamar Odom
    L. Odom

    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol

    Aaron Brooks
    A. Brooks

    Ron Artest
    R. Artest

    Shane Battier
    S. Battier

    Luis Scola
    L. Scola

    Yao Ming
    Y. Ming

    Lakers Gameday Articles and Updates
    Lakers beat Rockets 111-98 to even playoff series

    LOS ANGELES(AP) Another rough-and-tumble game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets turned bloody. This time, though, the Lakers defended their home court.

    Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, Pau Gasol added 22 points and 14 rebounds and the Lakers won Game 2 111-98 on Wednesday night to even the Western Conference semifinal series.

    Ron Artest, one of two players ejected in the game, scored 25 points and Carl Landry added a career playoff-high 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half only to trail most of the second half.

    Game 3 is Friday night in Houston.

    Houston's Yao Ming finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds after picking up three fouls in the first half.

    Emotions boiled over in the second half, with Derek Fisher of the Lakers and Artest getting ejected and technical fouls assessed to Bryant, Artest, Luis Scola, Luke Walton and Lamar Odom, who had 11 rebounds.

    "It's the playoffs,'' Bryant said, "this is what it's about.''

    Artest was sent off the court by referee Joe Crawford with 6:57 remaining in the game after he pointed across the court at Bryant and made a gesture near his throat. Artest complained that he was elbowed in the throat by Bryant under the basket.

    "We are playing basketball, there is a lot of contact taking place,'' Bryant said. "If you are going to be physical you have to expect to get physical back.''

    The final 30 seconds of the third quarter turned into a foul fest. Scola and teammates Odom and Walton all were hit with technicals after they jawed at the Lakers' end of the court.

    Moments later, Fisher was called for a flagrant foul when he collided with Scola as the Rockets brought the ball up the court.

    Scola fell to the court and Fisher received a bloody cut on his head near his right ear. Scola made both free throws and Houston retained possession.

    There was sideline drama, too. Houston's Von Wafer was escorted to the locker room at the end of the third quarter after he was seen exchanging words with coach Rick Adelman.

    Blood ran in Monday's series opener, won by the Rockets. Houston's Shane Battier had blood streaming down the left side of his face after catching an inadvertent elbow from Sasha Vujacic.

    "Right from the opening tip we wanted to be aggressive, get after it a bit,'' Bryant said. "We are being tested and this is fun.''

    In between the whistles and walkoffs, there was basketball.

    The Lakers opened the fourth quarter on a 13-9 run that pushed their lead to 99-86. The Rockets closed to 99-90 on a 3-pointer by Aaron Brooks, but Bryant scored five straight points and Houston didn't threaten again.

    Tied at halftime, the Lakers outscored the Rockets 16-4 to take a 73-62 lead midway through the third quarter. Los Angeles made 7 of 9 free throws down the stretch and extended its lead to 86-77 entering the final 12 minutes.

    Led by Landry's 16 points, the Rockets' reserves clobbered the Lakers' bench in the second quarter and erased all of the 14-point deficit. Houston took its first lead of the game, 49-48, on a 14-foot jumper by Artest that capped a 10-0 run.

    Wafer added five points and Chuck Hayes two as Houston led by four points late in the period. But Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining to pull the Lakers into a halftime tie at 57.

    The Lakers shot 73 percent from the field in the first quarter, streaking to a 39-25 lead. Bryant had 15 points - including a 22-footer to beat the final buzzer - and Gasol added 13. The Rockets made 10 of 18 shots but never led.

    Notes: The Lakers are 25-12 all-time when splitting the first two games of any best-of-7 series. ... Odom replaced C Andrew Bynum in the Lakers' starting lineup. Bynum was scoreless with one rebound in 8 minutes. ... Celebrities in the crowd included Jack Nicholson, Glenn Frey, Adam Levine, Andy Garcia and Dustin Hoffman, who spit popcorn out of his mouth to smooch his wife Lisa when the arena's kiss cam landed on them.

    Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


    We spent nearly a half hour with's Jason Friedman to discuss how and why things happened as they did in Game 1, went over how both teams are approaching Game 2, looked at specific matchups on the court and more in our ongoing Playoff Podcast series.

    As always, listen below or check out Playoff Central for everything else you need to know about this series.


    LOS ANGELES (AP) The Lakers were abject failures in their Western Conference semifinal opener against the Houston Rockets. It was hard to tell, though, by Kobe Bryant's downright cheerful attitude Tuesday.

    "We played really bad,'' he said of the 100-92 loss in which the Lakers shot 44 percent from the floor, were 2-of-18 from 3-point range, and 12-of-19 from the line.

    Sensing panic in the streets among Laker fans, Bryant offered up some calming words.

    "It's not like it's the end of the world,'' he said. "We're not the first team ever to lose a Game 1 at home, it's just here in Los Angeles, people get pretty nervous.''

    Bryant isn't among them.

    "Last year we kind of had a cakewalk to the NBA finals, it feels good to be tested a little bit,'' he said. "To be champions, you got to go through some stuff. You got to have the resolve to be able to fight through a little adversity and respond, so here it is.''

    The Lakers fell behind in the first quarter Monday night and never got into a rhythm. They had been off for six days after dispatching Utah in the first round.

    Game 2 against the Rockets is Wednesday night at Staples Center.

    "The next game is extremely critical,'' Bryant said. "Everybody is a little edgy, pretty energetic and excited about it.''

    Andrew Bynum returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the last two games against Utah. But he picked up two quick fouls, and finished with 10 points and just three rebounds in 15 minutes.

    "It is hurting the team,'' he said, adding that he's no more than 90 percent physically as he continues recovering from a torn MCL in his right knee.

    Bynum's ability to pivot and jump explosively is missing, and he needs those skills to defend Houston's Yao Ming, who had 28 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1.

    "He's got to be much more active as a defender, not letting Yao catch the ball where he wants to,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

    "Yao will catch it and throw it back out and reposition in a better position. Drew has a tendency to just stand behind and play defense because of his size. That doesn't work against Yao. Defense and rebounding are the focus we really want to have.''

    The Rockets appeared relaxed and energetic at their practice, knowing they've suddenly got the Lakers' full attention.

    "Tomorrow is going to be probably the most difficult game,'' coach Rick Adelman said. "They're going to really come after us.''

    Yao showed no ill effects from his knee-to-knee collision with Bryant on Monday, when he limped off the court before returning. Yao went through a full practice Tuesday, then sat with an ice pack around his right knee.

    "It's a little bit sore. It's fine. I could move around well,'' he said. "We are a physical team, particularly defensively. If the rest of the games stay like Game 1, we're happy.''

    The Rockets shot 48 percent from the floor, with speedy second-year guard Aaron Brooks scoring 19 points.

    "You almost got to treat him like Tony Parker in terms of his speed and quickness in getting to the rim,'' Bryant said.

    Houston's Shane Battier got into a minor shoving match with Bryant while chasing a loose ball. Battier later took an inadvertent elbow from Sasha Vujacic, drawing blood that streamed down the left side of Battier's face.

    Even though Bryant had an off-night shooting (14-of-31 for 32 points), Battier expects the guy he describes as "the best player on the planet'' to do more damage.

    "We've just got to make him take a lot of shots, make him work and try to limit the offense of the other guys,'' Battier said. "He's so great, you've got to give him different looks.''

    Bryant's confidence and upbeat attitude stemmed from knowing the Lakers can't play any worse than they did.

    "I feel fantastic,'' he said, grinning. "We know we can perform better. I'm anxious to see how we respond.''

    Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


    So that happened. Unable to shake the rust that we accumulated in the week off following our first round victory we now find ourselves in an early series “must win” situation. The obvious statistical explanation for the loss in game one is our three point shooting. We shot 11% and missed a bunch of shots that were falling in the Utah series. We also shot 63% from the free throw line and simply stated we need to do a better job in those two areas. The problem with relying on a simple statistical explanation though is that it doesn’t address the bigger issues found in that game. After spending two days reviewing the video of the game there are a couple other areas that we need to improve to avoid going down 0-2.
    Read the full scouting report...


    The Lakers and Rockets have met 7 times in the postseason (1981, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2004) with Los Angeles advancing on 4 occasions (1990, 1991, 1999,
    2004). The Lakers have won the last two series, defeating Houston in the First Round of both the 1999 (3-1) and 2004 (4-1) Playoffs. The Lakers swept the Rockets (3-0)
    in the First Round of both the 1990 and 1991 Playoffs. The Lakers losses to Houston came in the 1981 Western Conf. First Round (1-2), 1986 Western Conf. Finals (1-4)
    and 1996 Western Conf. First Round (1-3). Overall, the Lakers are 16-12 against the Rockets in the playoffs, going 11-5 at home but just 5-7 on the road in Houston.

    With 38 points 4/25 at Utah, Kobe Bryant moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (3,755) and John Havlicek (3,776) for 7th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. In Game 1 on
    April 19, Bryant passed Magic Johnson (3,701) for 9th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list and 3rd on the Lakers franchise playoff scoring list. In moving past Johnson,
    only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4,070) and Jerry West (4,457) have scored more points in a Lakers uniform during the playoffs than Bryant (3,823). Next up on the all-time
    NBA list are Larry Bird (6th/3,897) and West (5th/4,457). Among all players with 2,500+ postseason points, only Michael Jordan (33.4), Jerry West (29.1), Elgin Baylor
    (27.0), Hakeem Olajuwon (25.9), Shaquille O’Neal (25.2) and Karl Malone (24.7) have a higher postseason scoring average than Bryant (24.4).

    With a 3-1 series lead entering Game 5 at STAPLES Center on April 27, the Lakers closed out their 4th consecutive playoff series on the first attempt, advancing out of the
    First Round past Utah and into the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers have now closed out their opponent on the first attempt 15 times in their last 17
    opportunities dating back to 2001. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have closed out their opponent on the first attempt 15 times in 21 overall opportunities
    including a streak of 11 consecutive series close-outs on the FIRST try spanning the First Round of the 2001 Playoffs through the 2004 Western Conference Finals.
    Overall, under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are now 20-10 in close-out games. The Lakers have won 25 of their last 26 series when holding the opportunity to
    close-out at any point. Their last series loss when having a close-out game came in 2006 when the Lakers squandered a 3-1 series lead against the Phoenix Suns. Prior
    to that, the Lakers had not lost a series when having a close-out game since the 1993 First Round vs. Phoenix in which they led 2-0 before losing the next three.

    7 LAKERS POST DOUBLE FIGURES IN PLAYOFFS AND LAKERS SHOOT .600 FROM FIELD FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990 In their 119-109 Game 2 victory 4/21 vs. Utah, seven Lakers scored in double-figures AND the Lakers shot 60 percent or better in the playoffs (.600) for the first time in
    nearly 19 years. In the Lakers 109-88 victory in Houston 5/3/90, James Worthy (20 points) led seven players in double-figures while the Lakers as a team shot .611 from
    the field. Magic Johnson (19), Vlade Divac (18), Byron Scott (15), Mychal Thompson (12), Orlando Woolridge (12) and A.C. Green (11) all scored 10+ points in the win.


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