Lakers needed to snap out of their funk. They lost the first 2 games on the current 3-game home stand. (Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics)
Andrew Bynum sat out with a sore left knee. It’s not the knee that he had surgery on during the off-season.
Kobe was criticized for taking too many shots on Sunday against the Celtics. In the first quarter alone Kobe dished out 7 assists. It also helped that his teammates wanted the ball tonight. He didn’t have a single point in this quarter.
The Lakers ended the quarter with 10 assists as a team. They had 10 assists the entire game on Sunday.
Lakers led 31-23 at the end of the first quarter.
Pau Gasol finished the half strong. He had 16 points and added 8 rebounds.
With the absence of Bynum, these look like the Lakers from the beginning of the season. Lamar Odom stepped up in the starting lineup. He had 9 rebounds in the 1st half alone. He look more comfortable with the starters. Something for Phil Jackson to consider when Bynum can play.
Derek Fisher and Ron Artest stepped up as well. They both ended the half with 9 points.
Lakers led 54-48 at the end of the first half.
Lakers stopped playing defense. They allowed too many open shots for the Rockets in the first half of the quarter. The Rockets took their first lead of the game when Kevin Martin hit a 3-pointer from the side, which gave them a 64-61 lead.
Too many turnovers by the Lakers which helped the Rockets extend their lead to 5. Kobe also received a technical foul for complaining.
Lamar Odom stepped up and helped the Lakers tie up the game before the quarter ended.
74-74 at the end of the third quarter.
Lakers bench created points off turnovers. They attacked the basket for some easy dunks and layups. They extended the lead to 7 points.
But the Rockets responded to tie up the game once again.
Kobe came back into the game and nailed 3 straight shots to give the Lakers a 6-point lead. The Rockets stuck around until the final seconds. Luis Scola had a wide open layup with only 5 seconds left in the game. That basket tied it up, forcing the Lakers to call a timeout.
Lamar was forced to throw up a contested 3 point shot that hit the rim but didn’t go in. He finished the fourth with his 2nd career 20-20 game. He had 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Tied at 98 at the end of the fourth.
The Rockets were 0-4 in OT games this season, while it was the first OT game for the Lakers.
Lakers won the tip. Kobe hit the first shot of overtime. While Kevin Martin responded with a shot at the top of the key on the very next possession.
Rockets scored on their next 2 trips down the court to take a 4 point lead.
Gasol responded with a nice hook shot in the paint and hit 2 free throws to tie up the game at 104.
Derek Fisher intercepted a pass from Aaron Brooks and was fouled by Kevin Martin. Fisher hit both free throws to give the Lakers a lead with 1:27 left to play.
Both teams gave up easy layups on their next possessions. Kobe hit a running hook shot with 37 seconds left to give the Lakers a 4-point lead. The Lakers had a great stop on the Rockets next possession.
Steve Blake grabbed his 6th rebound(season high) and nailed two free throws to give the Lakers a 6-point lead.
Lakers hit all of their free throws down the stretch to close out the game. They won 114-106.
32 points for Kobe
26 points for Gasol
20 points & rebounds for Lamar Odom
16 rebounds for Gasol
11 assists for Kobe
7 turnovers for the Lakers in the 3rd quarter
6 rebounds for Steve Blake (season high)
3 Lakers with a double-double
1 technical foul (Kobe)
Box Score: Lakers 114 Rockets 106
Picture Credit: AP