Let's not lie to each other: that second quarter was grim. Every flaw that's bedeviled the Lakers in recent games - poor bench play, overfouling on defense, flat jumpers - made an appearance, allowing Houston to erase the lead and briefly establish one of its own. Only a late corner bomb by Kobe has given us a tie game at halftime.
The Rockets have been missing Yao Ming - on the bench with three fouls - but they haven't been, you know, missing him. The Lakers are +15 with Yao on the bench and -15 with him on the court. The bulletproof Carl Landry has been more than solid, posting 16 points and 5 rebounds in the first half. I did not expect that to happen.
So stretch your legs, get some air, make a Baja Fresh run - whatever you need to get your mind right. At least two more quarters to go, and something tells me the stress has only begun.
Your third quarter thread lies before you.