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Lakers just get by Rockets for victory

Lakers3_510 Lakers 112, Houston Rockets 110 (final)

The Lakers had all they could handle before they defeated the Houston Rockets on the night L.A. got its 2010 NBA championships rings.

It took a big effort from the Lakers' bench as well as 29 points and 11 rebounds from Pau Gasol and 27 points from Kobe Bryant.

Shannon Brown had 16 points off the bench for the Lakers while reserve point guard Steve Blake had 10.

After Rockets forward Luis Scola missed a shot that could have tied the score, the ball went out of bounds and was awarded to the Lakers.

But after the officials reviewed the play, they awarded it back to the Rockets with 2.4 seconds left and the Lakers leading, 112-110.

Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks broke inside for a layup that was blocked by Blake, giving the Lakers the victory in both teams' season opener at Staples Center on Tuesday night.

Brooks (24 points, 9 assists) and guard Kevin Martin (26 points) paced the offense. Power forward Luis Scola finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds while forward Chase Budinger had 13 points off the bench. Center Yao Ming, who fouled out after playing 23 minutes, had nine points on four-of-11 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. Reserve center Brad Miller had nine points and nine rebounds.

Rockets 82, Lakers 77 (end of third quarter)

It didn't help the Lakers that Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom both had to go to the bench in the third quarter because they each picked up their fourth foul.

That meant Ron Artest had to play power forward and Theo Ratliff was at center.

Gasol took 21 points and eight rebounds to the bench with him and Odom had 12 points and eight rebounds when he went to the bench.

Kobe Bryant had 22 points through three quarters, but he was just seven-for-17 from the field. He was eight-for-nine from the free-throw line.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Steve Blake helped the Lakers pull to within five poinnts at the end of the third quarter as they closed it on a 13-7 run. 

Rockets 62, Lakers 51 (halftime)

The Lakers trailed by as many as 15 points in the seccond quarter before pulling to within 11 points at halftime.

Lamar Odom gave the Lakers a boost in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his 12 points. Pau Gasol also has 12 points with five rebounds. Ron Artest (eight points) and Odom lead the team with six rebounds at halftime.

Kobe Bryant had 13 points by halftime, but he was just four-for-12 shooting from the field. The Lakers made only 39% of their shots in the half.

Houston center Yao Ming, playing his first game in 15 months, had four points in a little more than 11 minutes of play.

The backcourt duo of Aaron Brooks (18 points) and Kevin Martin (19) led the Rockets offense.

Brooks was particularly effective in pushing the pace and making his shots: five of eight from the field, including four of five from three-point range. The Rockets shot 48% from the field in the half.

Houston Rockets 33, Lakers 26 (end of first quarter)

The Lakers didn't look sharp at all in the first quarter, especially Kobe Bryant.

Bryant had two points on one-for-five shooting. He made his first shot before missing four in a row.

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 12 points.

Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks led Houston with 15 points in the first quarter.


Though Kobe Bryant shot only 28.2% from the field and just 17.2% from three-point range during the exhibition season, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said before his team took on the Houston Rockets at Staples Center in both team' season opener tonight that his star guard felt ready for the game.

Bryant had off-season surgery on his right knee and never was effective during his seven exhibition games.

Jackson said Bryant will measure out how he feels against the Rockets.

"He'll know exactly how he's doing," Jackson said. "He says his recovery is probably good as far as conditioning. It's how strong he's going to be physically."

The Lakers will have a pregame ceremony to get their championship rings before the game starts.

Jackson wasn't worried about his team getting too emotional during the ceremony and then starting flat or playing uninspired against the Rockets.

"You just tell them go and enjoy the ring ceremony and then let's get down to business," Jackson said.

--Broderick Turner

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest has his shot challenged by Houston center Yao Ming in the first half Tuesday night. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (9)

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Downtown Shannon Brown!

The guys looked good. The bench looked real sharp in the second half.

A different feel already over last year.

LO - moving to Tarzana burbs have made him a focused assassin running the court coast to coast.

1-0 Lets go Lakers!

I love the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson was my favorite player.

What channel was the Lakers game on tonight?

I think the Lakers will make the playoffs definitely this year.

luke walton was the reason won tonite,,period

OK, I'll say it: Mitch is the man. The ring ceremony was saved by his moves.

And its only gonna get better.

Such a rush to see Steve Blake drilled a "NAIL IN THE COFFIN" on behalf of the Lakers, after years of watching him doing it against the Lakers.

Yes VMan, Mitch is the man, I owe Mitch an apology for criticizing him so much.

And what can I say about Shannon Brown...he's my new hero. If Shannon can continue his excellent play, he'll be an excellent match up for D-Wade should Lakers and Heat meet in the Finals.

here we go again 1 win 81 to go,as the great zen buddist master the legendary phil jackson whom i once hated because of the media hype of him and his legendary bull's team but now i love his status every bits,will say its a journey,he said its like a marathon and one must be able to pace himself,but much effort must be put into it.another wise zen buddist saying-the journey of 1000 miles begins with one lets go lakers remember your perfect offense-the triple post,the triangular,the triangle and i will say the tri post offence.lets go lakers,keep phil jackson,tex winter,brian shaw,frank hamblem,jim cleamons in the lakers organisation for life,please mr buss,so that we can surpass the celtics nba championship record.lakers shouldnt just equal the boston celtics record but surpass it.

This was a very nice win. The new hires were on full display tonight. Blake, Barnes, and Theo all played key roles. Shannon Brown looks primed to lead our second unit in scoring, and could perhaps even make Sasha even more dispensable.

ay budday. told u it would happen. maybe ull have better luck tonight.. check this out. my boss showed me it. everythings in one area . ull c. i use it now. alright . tty tonight.



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