Lakers vs Houston: Lakers escape Rockets in overtime
Lakers 114, Rockets 106 (final, overtime)
It hasn't been easy for the Lakers in recent weeks, and it wasn't easy for them against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers were forced into an overtime game before they were able to defeat the supercharged Rockets.
Kobe Bryant scored 32 points and handed out 11 assists, and the Lakers needed all of it to break a two-game losing streak.
Pau Gasol had 26 points and 16 rebounds and Lamar Odom had 20 points and a season-high 20 rebounds.
Kevin Martin led the Rockets with 30 points and Luis Scola had 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The score was tied before Gasol and Bryant scored on back-to-back possessions in overtime to give the Lakers a 110-106 lead, and it held up. In fact, Gasol's basket constituted the first two of 10 unanswered Lakers points to close the game.
Lakers 98, Rockets 98 (end of fourth quarter)
The Lakers had their hands full all game with the Rockets, right down to the end.
When Lamar Odom missed a jumper as time expired, the score was tied and the game went into overtime.
After Kobe Bryant missed two shots in a row, the Rockets got the ball back and called a timeout with 11.8 seconds left.
Aaron Brooks then foundLuis Scoia wide open down low for layup to tie the score at 98-98 with 5.5 seconds left.
Lakers 74, Rockets 74 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers had their hands full with the Rockets in the third quarter.
Houston refused to go away, playing all-out against the Lakers in the third.
Kobe Bryant's frustration grew after he was called for a three-second violation with 5:27 left in the third.
Bryant yelled at the officials and was given a technical foul.
Bryant had 20 points and nine assists through three quarters.But Kevin Martin had 25 points through three to help the Rockets.
Lakers 54, Rockets 48 (end of first half)
Pau Gasol was the man for the Lakers in the first half.
Gasol had 16 points on seven-for-12 shooting, and eight rebounds.
After not scoring in the first quarter, Kobe Bryant had 10 points in the second quarter.
Bryant had seven assists in the first quarter, but none in the second quarter.
Lakers 31, Rockets 23 (end of first quarter)
This time, Kobe Bryant was the facilitator, the one who ran the offense, the one who made all the passes to his teammates.
Bryant had seven assists in the first quarter. He missed all three of his shots.
But his teammates came through.
Derek Fisher was three for three from the field, scoring eight points.
Ron Artest was three for three from the field, scoring seven points.
Pau Gasol was four for six from the field, scoring eight points.
As a team, the Lakers made 58.3% of their shots in the first quarter.
The Lakers have lost two in a row, both at home, a streak that has left management very unhappy.
They play the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night with the hope of averting a three-game slide. The last time the Lakers lost three consecutive games at Staples Center was February 2007.
The last time the Lakers played the Rockets, they lost, 109-99, in Houston on Dec. 1.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said he looked at the tape of that game.
"[It was] just a reminder of something that happens to us occasionally," Jackson said. "We lost a 12-point lead, or something like that, in the second quarter, and they got it down to three or four maybe even at the end of the first half. That's one of those runs that we've been giving up that we want to remind ourselves about and how to remedy it."
The Lakers won't have center Andrew Bynum, who is out because of a bone bruise in his left knee.
Lamar Odom was going to start in Bynum's place.
-- Broderick Turner