Lakers/Rockets Series at 2-2 Mothers Day Game 4 Los Angeles at Houston
05/10/09 06:49:35 pm Lakers/Rockets Series at 2-2 Mothers Day Game 4 Los Angeles at Houston
Kobe on Jupiter
Title: Do the Lakers have the Rockets Series under Control?
Game 4 at Houston, Texas in front of a very antsy and excited crowd, the Los Angeles Lakers went into Game 4 going for that 3-1 series lead, but instead it was the Rockets that came out as the better team Sunday and this series is now tied at 2-2 with LA being defeated by Houston Final Score 99-87. Yao Ming's injuring Game 3 had Hayes in the starting line up for the Rockets game 4. Many people had this outlook that because Ming would be out of the line up that the Lakers ought to have an easy wrapping up of this series. If you like the Outside Game, or players making hoops from downtown, like Freddie Brown, this is one game to remember for Rockets fans, while Lakers fans luckily it was not worse.
Title: Do the Lakers have the Rockets Series under Control?
This game was the pivot game for both teams. For the Lakers winning this game would mean having a good opportunity to close out the series game 5 at Staples Center. For the Rockets, the teams backs were up against the wall. To add, the feistiness of both teams players in this series had a lot of sports fans anticipating this game to watch the ABC 7 Broadcast Mothers Day. Game 3, Derek Fischer was suspended, and the Lakers won the game anyways. It seemed that his return wearing the white head ban was something that pumped up the Rockets Guards early in this game as Houston jumps all over the Lakers from the onset in the first quarter leading 26-9.
The Lakers were down by double digits early in this contest. For the Rockets, Shane Battier makes his 4th three pointer for his 15th point to bring the Rockets 50-35 up on the Lakers at 1:28 till halftime. The Rockets largest lead was at 19 points now at 15, but the game was still early, and the Lakers still had an opportunity to go on the runs needed to get back in this ball game. Before the end of the half, it still looked promising as Lakers fans laugh to themselves real quick when Cook was inserted into the game for the Rockets. Right away, the Lakers started attacking that area of the floor when Cook was defending, as the Lakers go inside and get a hoop. Kobe scores two outside shots, then misses his the next one with that 3rd straight attempt.
The Texas Crowd was very excited as Houston was going for the series tie. Brooks had 11 early first half points, and later he would up that as the Rockets guards Sunday ate the Lakers guards up defensively for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The score 54-36 at the half, so the Lakers down by 15 had opportunities to get closer, but instead Brooks scoring late in the half gave the Rockets that halftime lead, and most of all confidence going into the locker room. The Lakers were outscored 29-16 in the 1st quarter, and 25-20 in the 2nd quarter.
Yao Ming was interviewed at the half, and the prognosis for Ming is that he will miss the rest of the playoffs from the injury to his left foot which is a hairline fracture.
From the opening of the 3rd quarter, it seemed that the Lakers defense was a bit confused on how to play the guards of Houston. Opening play for the Rockets, Brooks drives right in for the lay up to give the Rockets a 20 point lead at 56-36. This was the largest lead of the game, and the Rockets had the momentum to add to it.
Right now, "its live and die by the 3 pointer, or long range shot", and the Rockets gave one heck of an exhibition on shooting the basketball from the outside. That was a good basketball game for them, well played, and entertaining to watch good outside shooting considering the fact the Ming was out of the line up. That was a chance or risky strategy by Coaching staff of Houston, but it worked, and it seemed to have confused the Lakers Sunday. Kurt Rambis for the Lakers complained that LA had "No Effort at All" on Defense now at 38-56. Scola scores next for Houston for his 8th point. Houston going up big now at 61-38, the Lakers D was now apparent that allowing the Rockets the outside shots was not affective, and the team looked soft on getting up to the Rockets Shooters from downtown.
It gets worse as Gasol misses 2 free throws and you usually don't see that giving LA 4-10 FT's with 9:00 in the 3rd. Andrew Bynum was not the answers to the Lakers issues Sunday, and right when he came into the game at this point, the first thing he did was foul. Then Battier gets an offensive rebound on him. This was a possible turning point for LA on the loose ball from that play as Kobe gets the steal on Battier after he just got the ball, and Kobe dribbles all the way to make a "Sweat" move for 2 from the left side to bring the score at 61-40 at 8 minutes.
The Lakers still seemed to be always giving 100% although it was not working for them this game, and I thought that the ABC broadcasters were a little bit too hard, and not fully objective about what they were saying while the Rockets were looking good, and the Lakers not looking so good.
The key for the Rockets being successful this game against the Western Conference Titan Los Angeles Lakers was that players were making three pointers at critical junctures of the game. Battier makes his 5th three pointer to give the Rockets a 64-40 lead. The Brooks next play the three pointer really hurt the Lakers, and as a Lakers fan, it did hurt watching that rainbow go in as Brooks scores on the 3 from a hustle play, or second chance opportunity Battier created. At 6:55, the Lakers were now down by 27 points. That 3 from the left top part of the key for three really was a nice play for Houston, and got the crowd really into this game. Winning this game for the Rockets means an automatic game 6 in Houston.
I would call this game's success for Houston: "the Outside Game". My buddy in Pittsburgh, thats California text me on the Sprint Phone asking me "where was the Lakers defense?" I text back with the reply from www.Jamestownjupiter.com: "In Vegas"! The score at 67-40.
Lamar Odom drives through the middle of the lane, and Battier gets right in front of the spots drawing a charge on Lamar, and on that play Lamar goes up flying seeming out of control then hits the deck on the fall. He was down for a few minutes while viewers were able to watch his fall on the replay in slow motion. Thats gotta hurt, and this game gets worse as Lamar gets a "T" (technical foul) as he's walking off to the bench from the substitution complaining of the charge call. The Rockets players all used their experience Sunday to do the little things to get into the Lakers minds on the floor and it worked to their advantage. This was a bad game for the Lakers, and Lakers players, coaches, and fans ought to be concerned now with the score going up. But the Lakers players never quit regardless of the broadcasters, and KLAC 570AM broadcasters and listeners were saying.
Sasha makes a 3 pointer to bring the score to 68-43 at 5:38 in the 3rd. Lakers going on a spurt as Jordan Farmar goes all the way on a dribble drive lay up, nice play from a pass on a rebound from Powell on the other end brings the score to 68-45 at 4:30.
Battier makes two free throws for Houston 70-45 now. Lakers have a chance to come within 20 points with a Bynum rebound Farmar is stripped on the offensive end. Farmar came in with good energy and kept at it giving the Lakers a spark on the next play as he goes to the hole and gets fouled makes two free throws brings the score at 70-47 at 3:35. Then another 3 hurt the Lakers as Brooks scores again for his 22nd point now brings the score to 73-47. Every time the Lakers scored a couple of hoops, the Rockets would answered with a downtown hoop. Farmar comes back and makes a 3 pointer for the Lakers brings the score at 73-50 at 3:02 in the 3rd. Scola passes to Lowry for the Rockets score on the next possession brings the score back to 75-50.
In the time out, Houston Coach R Adelman tells his team to keep up the defensive intensity with the lead 77-50 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd, the Lakers are still in this game although the score is now as lopsided as the last election.
Speaking of lopsided, Ron Artest misses on the three, and he was the only bright spot for the Lakers fans as every time he would shot, he would miss, and he was the only player doing any missing it seemed. Shannon Brown scores for LA next at 1:10 the score at 72-52.
Right when Lakers fans were laughing or commenting about Artest missing on the three's, he comes back on the next play and makes the outside shot on the line to bring the score 79-52 all Houston in the 3rd. Lakers come back to score now at 79-54. Then Brooks again scores on the outside shot to give the Rockets an 81-54 margin.
The play of the game, and most likely the Sports Networks Sundays Shows play of the day of all sports comes at 0.7 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. Artest passes the ball from the in bounce by the scorers table past half court to Brooks for the ali-oop score for 2. "An appropriate ending to the 3rd quarter" ref to the ABC broadcaster, and I would agree as the Lakers fell asleep on defense and allowed that basket from the out of bounce that far, and the shortest player for Houston sneaks inside to get the bucket 83-54. The Rockets outscore the Lakers 29-18 in the 3rd quarter.
With all the criticism the broadcasters were giving the Lakers and using this game as a comparison game to other game where the Lakers were beat, the team doesn't get beat often, so that is why broadcaster or people whom are anti lakers are now commenting. Do the Lakers have this Series under Control? I think they do still, and I don't see any comparison to the Celtics game 6 last season or the Portland game this season to this game. The Lakers could have folded, but they didn't, and in the fourth quarter the team did put up the points needed to make the outcome or score respectable. Just people like to point out more Lakers flaws when they get defeated as the Lakers as a team have been consistent all season more so than any time anyways. We will see if the Rockets can continue to shoot the ball that good from the outside game 5 and 6, and if there is a 7th game.
Gasol scores for LA to bring the score 83-56. Gasol was not letting up as he grabs the rebound on the other end and scores 2 free throws to bring the score 83-58 at 11:14. Scola misses for Houston, and the Lakers Luke Walton scores a 3 pointer to bring the score to 83-61 at 10:33. Lowry scores for the Rockets next and that ends the Lakers 7-0 run score at 85-61. At 10:10 Gasol makes 1 of 2 as he is short on the second attempt at the free throw line brings the score to 85-62. Gasol scores again with the left hand nice move to bring the score to 85-64 at 8:35.
Kobe Bryant was really not in this game during this stretch or juncture, and it was other Lakers stepping up. The Lakers had been trailing by double figures since early in the first quarter, but the team still gave that effort where they didn't let the Rockets run up the score, and that is something not pointed out by anybody. Gasol scores again on a low post move at 7:40 left, the Lakers down under twenty 85-67. The Rockets Lowry makes a big play next at 7:13 makes the free throw on the three point play making a lay up getting fouled and one the score goes back to 88-67. That was a big play. Then the Rockets kept that momentum and pressure on the Lakers with Brooks scoring again for his 30th point now 90-67 with 6:40 left.
The Lakers had no Center or Power Forward Defense, did the suspension of Derek Fischer affect the Lakers mindset on how to defend the Rockets Sunday with Ming out of the Line up? The score is 90-69, and now everything is looking good for the Rockets, and not so looking good for the Lakers. As a Lakers fan, it did hurt watching this game, but I still think the team gave 100% although playing like CRAP today. Just one of those games, and you have a lot of winners and determine players for the Rockets so it is a difficult series. The Lakers now have to dig deep to come away with this series to advance.
Battier playing Defense on Kobe, and at 4:47 left in the game, Kobe only scored 2 points all half. 90-71, Gasol scores his 11th of the quarter for his 23rd point. Kobe passes to Sasha and Sasha scores the 3 pointer to bring the score 90-74 at 3:55. That was the closest the Lakers had been in the 2nd half. The Lakers were down as many as 29 points. Artest misses the next three point attempt now at 0-7 from 3 point land. The Lakers Luke Walton on the offensive end makes a terrible pass where the ball is deflected and the ball goes off the glass. Shannon Browns 3 pointer for LA at 2:48 puts the score at 90-77. The Lakers had outscored the Rockets 23-7 at this juncture. I thought the Lakers on the offensive end was good in the 4th quarter, and coming back with those points were important not to get blown out like that worse.
Brooks makes 2 Free throws to bring the score 92-77 at 2:30. Gasol comes back and scores on the drive for LA to bring the score at 92-79. On the Defensive end for LA, Houston's Battier gets the loose ball on the play where he is fouled and converts 2. Gasol scores again for the Lakers and at 1:06 the score at 94-81.
At this juncture, Berry, the ABC Color Broadcaster criticized the Lakers saying "the score doesn't reflect the fact that the Lakers got blown out of here, and that the 4th quarter effort didn't matter or mean anything". I am going to have to disagree, and it did matter. First it matter for your advertisers ABC the fact the Lakers did come back late in the game so that viewers can at least watch a minute more of the game then they would have. Second it matter the fact that the score did not get run up more then it did.
Andrew Bynum's production was one of the key difference in the game why the Lakers were not successful in Houston gave four with Bynum averaging 12 points the first three games, in game four gets no points. The Final Score 99-87. The Lakers are defeated Game 4, and this series is now tied 2-2. This game showed good character of all the Houston Rockets players, the city, their fans, and it is going to be interesting to see if the Rockets can continue to shoot the basketball from the outside like that. That game reminded me of the USA/USSR Semi Final Olympic Game in the 80's when David Robinson was playing by the style the Rockets played passing the ball in the perimeter, and making those three pointers in spectacular fashion.
P Gasol led the Lakers in scoring with 30 points, Kobe Bryant scores 15, Brown 14, and Farmar and Sasha added 7 points. The Lakers go 44.7% FG's (33-76, 11 turnovers. Plus and Minus for the Lakers:-10 for Bynum, -22 for Ariza, -22 for Odom, -12 for Kobe, and -26 for Derek Fischer obviously that white head ban distracted his play. For the Rockets, the players of the game go to Brooks and Battier mostly, but all the Rockets players did what they had to do to defeat the Lakers with Ming out of the line to bring this series to a 2-2 tie. Brooks scores 34 points, Battier 23, Lowry 12, Scola 11. The Rockets go 45% FG's (36-80), 10-29 from 3 point land at 34.5%. The Lakers go 8-18 at 3 point land at 44.4%. There were no lead changes, and 0 times was this game tied. The Lakers out score the Rockets 33-16 in the fourth quarter with the final score 99-87.
ref box score http://www.nba.com/games/20090510/LALHOU/boxscore.html
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After the game on the KLAC 570AM Radio Broadcast, the question was given to the listeners and Lakers fans, was this one of the most embarrassing loses in Lakers history? I would say, a game like this, pretty soon we will all forget about it, and it was not as embarrassing as the radio station, nor the broadcasters gave us. The Lakers to show the Rockets What's Up game 5 at Los Angeles Tuesday May 12. Lakers at Houston Thursday May 14. We will see if there is a Game 7 if Necessary.
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This was a game where I really missed the Lakers Announcers, and why didn't KCAL 9 broadcast Game 3? In My opinion, Bynum's play hurt the Lakers and was the difference why the Lakers were not successful Mothers Day Game 4.