Yet another physical, hard fought game. Yet another Lakers victory. Kobe once again led the way with 33 points, Farmar held down the fort in the absence of Fisher, and Odom chipped in a very quiet double-double. Here is the recap and box score.
I find it very interesting how these two teams cannot seem to seperate from each other. When the Lakers shoot 61% in the 1st quarter, the Rockets answer with 58%, and when the Lakers miss 8 shots in a row, Houston fails to capitalize. This has made for a very exciting series and means that the Lakers need to come out focused each and every game. Game 4 will be crucial. If the Lakers win, they will be in very, very good shape. If they lose, then all bets are off.
Of course, this would not be an NBA second-round playoff game without some referee controversy as Artest was questionably called for a flagerant 2 foul and ejected in the final minute. Hard fouls in Magic-Celtics combined with players from both sides calling for more freedom to play means that the league will need to take a long look at how contact should be officiated.
Oh, and congrats to Kobe for passing Larry Bird and moving into 6th on the all-time playoff points scored list.
Go Purple & Gold!