Lakers vs. Rockets: Lakers win in overtime
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Lakers 103, Rockets 102, Final (OT)
For the second consecutive night -- and on the road no less -- the Lakers were forced into playing an overtime game.
And they escaped again, winning 103-102 over the Rockets on Wednesday night.
It took a big defensive stop for the Lakers to walk away with the victory.
Andrew Bynum had given the Lakers a one-point lead by making one of two free throws withh 24.7 seconds left.
Trevor Ariza, the former Laker who signed with the Rockets this summer, tried to drive the lane, but Derek Fisher stripped the ball away.
The ball rolled down court as the last few seconds ticked away.
The Lakers defeated the Oklahoma Thunder in overtime on Tuesday night, giving them a 2-0 record on the two-game trip.
Kobe Bryant had 41 points, the second time this week he has broken the 40-point barrier. He also had 41 points Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks.
Ariza had 15 points, but he was only five for 21 from the field.
Lakers 92, Rockets 93, End of regulation
The two players that basically were exchanged for each other came up big late in the fourth quarter.
Ron Artest, who played for the Rockets last season, made a three-pointer with 30 seconds left to give the Lakers a 92-89 lead. Artest then stood in the middle of the court and signaled a timeout toward the crowd.
Trevor Ariza, who played for the Lakers last season, then out-jumped Derek Fisher on a jump-ball play and subsequently made a three-pointer with 14.2 seconds left in the fourth to tie the score at 92-92.
The game went into overtime tied at 92-92.
Rockets 74, Lakers 73, End of third quarter
By the end of the third quarter, the Lakers had four starters score in double figures.
Still, all it did was leave the Lakers trailing the Rockets, 74-73, at the end of the third.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 25 points, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum both had 12 points and Ron Artest had 10.
The Rockets had five players score in double figures, led by the 14 points from Carl Landry and Luis Scola.
Rockets 48, Lakers 44, Halftime
When Lakers Coach Phil Jackson pulled center Andrew Bynum out of the game with 6:56 left in the second quarter, Bynum stormed to the bench waving his arms and talking back at Jackson.
Jackson, apparently not happy with what he had heard, got out of his seat and walked down to the end of the bench where Bynum had sat down and said something to him.
Ron Artest sat next to Bynum and tried to cool his teammate down.
At this point in the game, Bynum had eight points and six rebounds.
Jackson had inserted Josh Powell into the game for Bynum.
Jackson put Bynum back into the game with 3:28 left in the second.
But his night didn’t get any better.
Bynum was called for an offensive foul, his third with 1:31 left. Bynum leaped into the air, and was given a technical foul for acting like a baby.
By the half, the Lakers trailed, 48-44, to the Rockets at the Toyota Center.
Lakers 22, Rockets 22, End of first quarter
When he was introduced as the starting small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, Ron Artest was booed by Houston Rockets fans. He played for the Rockets last season before signing a five-year, $33.7-million contract with the Lakers.
Artest was booed every time he touched the ball in the first quarter of a game that the Lakers and Houston Rockets were tied, 22-22, at the end of the quarter.
Artest even was given a technical foul in the first, along with Trevor Ariza, the former Laker.
Artest finished the first quarter with five points, Ariza only two, missing four of five shots.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol has been cleared to begin all basketball-related activities after an MRI exam showed he did not have a slight tear in his right hamstring.
Gasol might practice tomorrow and has an outside chance at playing Friday against Memphis.
A less-sophisticated sonogram exam showed that Gasol might have sustained a slight tear, but the MRI exam showed only a strain, a less-severe injury.
Gasol will miss his fifth game tonight against Houston.
-- Broderick Turner