For the sixth time in seven games, the Lakers have beaten the Houston Rockets, taking a 2-1 series lead with a 108-94 win. What's new?
Our own Josh gives us "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."
Ron Artest was ejected again. We here at SS & R disagree with the call, and it seemed like a preemptive call. I personally think the refs made that call as a message heading into Game 4.
"But Friday, apparently, was an exclamation-point sort of night for the Lakers, who did seem to make a definitive statement about their intentions.
Without Fisher, they were better than the Rockets on this night.
With Bryant, they might be better than everyone else eventually."
"...it was clear that Bryant meant business.
The rest of the Lakers sensed that, and they simply got in line with Bryant.
"I'm just doing what I do best," Bryant said. "Know what I mean? Just challenging other teams to try to do something with me. And then we as a team play off of that. So, it's on me to be aggressive. When the double team comes, try to hit my teammates. We just play off of that."
In their 108-94 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday, the Lakers drew no blood, but plenty of surprise, enough to leave the Rockets pale and shaking.
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"Is Kobe Bryant a dirty player?
Yes, yes he is."
"All of us who picked the Lakers to win this series in five games are suddenly looking pretty good — not just based on the result of Game 3 but because Yao Ming has soreness in the left ankle that had him sitting out practice before this series began."
"Of course, the Mantra around here is the Lakers will go as far as their defense will take them. One thing the Lakers did well, particularly in the second half (in part due to the play of Bynum), was protect the paint."
Wondahbap's Random Thoughts:
- This series will end in 5 games.
- We have had the Rockets number in six of seven games. When we lost in Game 1 with Bynum starting, it affected our starts to each half. Out offense wasn't fluid and it kept us at the Rockets pace. Defensively, Bynum was too cautious. Lamar starting has now turned this series into a repeat of the regular season. Only now, the Rockets inablility to to get it done down the stretch is magnified, and now that is it the Playoffs, it's worse for them.
- Game 1 was the exception. Games 2 &3 have been the rule. The Lakers are focused now, and I do not see that focus waining, nor do I see the Rockets being able to dig deep. We are just a better team than them in every aspect.
- Who knew Luke was so feisty?
- PJ played the same guys (other than Fish, obviously), but his rotations seemed better this game. He didn't allow the bench to give up the lead in the 4th, as he mixed starters in.