Rockets @ Lakers Game 5 Thread - 5/12 - 7:30 PST

Dec 8, 2007
[h1]Houston at Los Angeles[/h1]

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    Currently: Los Angeles, CA
    Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EDT Tue May 12, 2009
  • TV: TNT

LOS ANGELES (AP)-The Los Angeles Lakersare grumpy for letting a big chance get away from them in Texas.

The Houston Rockets are loose and havinga good time, even if they don't have YaoMing(notes).

Come Tuesday night, one of them is going to have a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

The top-seeded Lakers no doubt figured that they would have a chance to close out the Rockets in Game 5 at Staples Center. Butthat was before the Rockets embarrassed Los Angeles 99-87 on Sunday, tying the series and picking up their pace a day after finding out that the 7-foot-6 Yaohad a stress fracture in his left foot.

"Yeah, we had a great opportunity," Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant(notes)said. "I've been on teams who have made this dumb mistake before. It's important for my guys to stay up and get ready to play and understand thatcome Tuesday we're going to face a really hungry Rockets team that believes they can win this series."

The series is guaranteed to go back to Houston for Game 6 on Thursday night.

"We could've had a huge advantage, put ourselves in a great position to finish the series off tomorrow, but wedidn't and we own up to it," center Pau Gasol(notes)said. "That's why we're going to come out tomorrow and show what we're made of."

The Lakers could be without forward Lamar Odom(notes). He was listed as questionable for Tuesday night's game after an MRI and CT scan showed he has a bruisedlower back. He was hurt Sunday when he drove into the lane and collided with Shane Battier(notes), landing hard on the court.

The Rockets would love to be the ones going back to Houston with the series lead.

They were in a good mood after watching film following their arrival in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.

"We have a free mentality," said Battier, who outplayed Bryant in Sunday's wipeout. "Every shot that everyonetakes is a free shot. If it goes in, great. If not, we tried. We have nothing to lose. No one expected much out of us. We expect an effort out of us, butwe're going to take our shots, play hard and take our chances."

The Rockets are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997. The Lakers are trying to get back to the NBAfinals a year after losing to Boston in six games.

Bryant said the Lakers' mood Monday was "grumpy, a little quiet," but that they will just have to deal with thedisappointment of the wire-to-wire rout, when the smaller Rockets' lineup took advantage of Los Angeles' defensive lapses.

"You can't get it back. You've just got to move forward and get ready for the next one," he said.

The Rockets stunned the Lakers-and most everyone else-by racing to a 29-16 lead in the first quarter. They never trailed and ledby as many as 29 points before the Lakers at least made it look respectable toward the end.

"We didn't understand the type of energy Houston was going to come with," Bryant said. "We didn't havethat type of energy."

It wasn't a case of the Lakers taking the Rockets lightly without Yao, Bryant said.

"Naw, man they just kicked our (rear)," he said.

The Lakers say they need to have the kind of energy the Rockets had Sunday.

"If we want to be a championship team we have to go after it every single game," Gasol said. "We can't takefor granted that because we're better individually or maybe collectively that we can play 70, 80 percent. We have to play 100 percent from the getgo."

Gasol said the Lakers were "outhustled and outplayed and we could have won if we really wanted to."

They didn't, but the Rockets know what the Lakers are capable of.

The Lakers seemed to be in control of the series after Bryant scored 33 in a 108-94 victory on Friday night.

Outscoring Bryant 23-15 on Sunday is going to be a nice little memory for Battier.

"It's not going to happen too often. So this box score may be framed in my house somewhere," he said."He's going to come back with a vengeance in Game 5."

Guard AaronBrooks(notes) scored a career-high 34 points in Game 4, and the Rockets were still talking about their point guard onMonday.

"Maybe it's a bowlegged thing, a knock-kneed, pigeon-toed thing, but boy, they can't keep up with him," saidbulky 6-6 forward Chuck Hayes(notes), who started for Yao on Sunday. "He uses his speed to his advantage to get to the paint. For such a littleguy, he finishes pretty well."

AP Sports Writer Chris Duncan in Houston contributed to this report.

we got this
rockets playing with house money and nothing to lose
lakers better take control of the gm early and not let it be a close gm because anything can happen

whats the status on odom, i know scola, hayes, ron throwing their body against him isnt gonna help him. thats why they need to close this thing out ASAP

anyone still think is gonna go crazy ron ron? it's like a ticking time bomb ready to go off. i want vujacic try to step to ron
I'll provide my full insight on this later on but for now I'll just say that the Rockets aren't going to get blown out, if anything the Lakers arestill in for a hard fought game.
As of right now, Brooks has the Lakers defense so unbalanced. His speed and penetration has been devastating for the lakers point guards, and as he goes, so dothe lakers and rockets.

For the rockets, artest has to show what he was showing back in games one and two in LA. QB's finest is best when he is posting on the right block,he's either scoring, or getting in the paint and making the play. Artest can play some point, but I think he does too much, and he takes some bad shotswhen he is dribbling out of character.

Battier, if he can give the rockets not even half of the superb performance that electrified the toyota center sunday, then rocket fans should be thrilled withthat.

Hayes, Landry, Scola, they have been playing very hard under the basket and if they can keep that pressure on gasol and the rest of the lakers frontline, thenthey will be ok.

Lakers? Starters have to play better and complement kobe, and the lakers bench is performing at an underwhelming clip, and they aren't getting much out thebench. They also need something out of fisher, if he's going to be out there and not defend brooks, he has to at least score a little bit to supplant whatbrooks is doing. This game is a toss-up imo.

Oh and as for derek fisher, he has to i mean if nothing else this is a must: Take off that headband and don't wear that again. It looks silly.
not worried lakers will come out and close this one out early...sunday was just a wake up call
Game 4 was definitely a wake up call for the Lakers.

...Just like Game 1.

What if the Rockets win Game 5?

Backs against the wall wake up call?
game 1 was a wake up call and they won 2 straight then everything changed once yao went down
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