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Lakers 103, Houston 102 (OT): Postgame chat

November 4, 2009 |  8:53 pm
Well, it took five extra minutes and a lot of anxiety, but the Lakers pulled out back-to-back road wins in Kobe Bryant drives by Trevor Ariza 11.4 overtime, this time against the Houston Rockets.  Like the previous night's muddy, often ugly work in Oklahoma City, there were aspects enjoyable, along with some elements I could have done without.   But it's a win, and I'll always accept a "W" with very little arm twisting.

The Good
  • 24 hours removed from treating the ball like it was a greased pig (26 turnovers vs. Oklahoma City), the Lakers took considerably better care of the rock.  Only nine gaffes this time around. In a game where you don't play even close to your best, it helps to minimize the damage on some level. By contrast, Houston had nineteen turnovers. 
  • Some terrific defensive teamwork by Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum on high screen and roll coverage down the fourth quarter stretch, which sparked dry Houston possessions. The Lakers then capitalized, which allowed them get back into the game and force the bonus period.  While the defense was anything but perfect on the night, it definitely got better as the game progressed.
  • Despite some missed assignments and bunnies, Drew's 17/17 effort was pretty strong. 
  • 41 points for Kobe Bryant, with six in OT.  As the minutes increased, so did the degree of difficulty for many of those shots.  There's a reason the guy is often referred to as the game's best closer.
  • "Traded" players Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza trading threes to force OT.  You can't script that stuff, but you'd sure like to, so it's awesome when real life has a sense of drama.
  • Not an incredible effort from the bench, but trending upward.
  • Getting 'er done.  Bottom line.

The Not as Good

  • Houston beating the Lakers 54-48 on the glass, with seventeen offensive boards.  It's a team of midgets.  Granted, they're midgets talented at rebounding, but they're also just a crew of hustlers.  You have to expect that and meet the energy.  The Lakers didn't and allowed way too many second and third chances.  And on a related note, too many layups.
  • By and large, the ball movement was stagnant, with way too few looks inside to capitalize on LA's size advantage.
  • Fisher: 0-5 with a goose egg in the scoring column.  Granted, he had some huge plays in critical moments (including defense and a steal on Houston's final possession), but they needed more from him on the offensive end.  And his overall D on Brooks was spotty.
  • Allowing Carl Landry to score 20 off the bench and Chuck Hayes to score 14... period. 
  • Lamar Odom's first half.  1-8 for a trio of points.  Ouch!
Jabber box below for the chat.