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2009 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Semifinals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets, Game 3

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Los Angeles Lakers

2009 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets

Series Index:

Game 1: Rockets 100, Lakers 92 at L.A.   Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Lakers 111, Rockets 98 at L.A.   Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Lakers 108, Rockets 94 at Houston Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Rockets 99, Lakers 87 at Houston   Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Lakers 118, Rockets 78 at L.A.   Game recap & pictures
Game 6: Rockets 95, Lakers 80 at Houston   Game recap & pictures
Game 7: Lakers 89, Rockets 70 at L.A.   Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2009

Los Angeles Lakers 2 - 1 Houston Rockets

GAME 3: L.A. Lakers 108 - Houston Rockets 94

Just playing good basketball things are easier for the Lakers.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers Bryant: 33 Odom: 13 Farmar: 7
Rockets Artest: 25 Yao: 14 Battier: 7
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 30 20 24 34 108
HOU 28 18 16 32 94
click for Lakers 2009 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Western Conference Semifinals vs. Houston Rockets Game 3
Picture Gallery (LAT)

May 8 - Houston. Playing good basketball instead of hitting harder, things are easier for the Lakers who had and excellent night and defeated the Rockets at Houston 108-94 to take a 2-1 lead in the series

Defensive pressure and ball movement were the keys for L.A. and it all began with Jordan Farmar who started at point guard in place of suspended Derek Fisher and did it more than good with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists in almost 33 minutes. He also set the tone of the defense in the first quarter when he dived for loose ball and from the floor assisted Trevor Ariza for a dunk.

Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and although he wasn't too accurate from the field (11-for-28) he made, as usual, the shots that mattered including a buzzer beater from 33 feet to end the third quarter and give the Lakers a 74-62 lead. He made four of five 3-pointers while the whole team was 11-for-20 in that category. It was a good sign after going 6-for-17 in game 2 and an horrendous 2-for-18 in game 1, because the Rockets' strategy is to clog the paint and force Kobe to settle for jump shots. Sometimes he finds 3 or even 4 defenders on him when going to the basket which leaves his teammates open. The defense played by L.A. gave as result 11 steals and 9 blocked shots against 2 and 3 by Houston.

Despite Kobe's 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the first quarter the Lakers entered the second leading just 30-28, then they started to miss from everywhere and found themselves trailing 46-43 with 2 minutes to go. But the Rockets committed 2 turnovers and L.A. went to halftime leading 50-48. From there on the Lakers showed their superiority, built a small margin and defended it until the end of the game. Yao Ming dunked the ball with 4:15 left to close the gap to 84-90 but that was the closer they would get. Farmar answered with jumper and later Kobe beat the shot clock with a three. The only emotions left in the game were the ejection of Ron Artest for a hard foul on a driving Pau Gasol and the panic generated on the Rockets fans by the image of Yao Ming limping through the court. Yao ended with 19 points and 14 rebounds while Artest had 25 and 6.

Lamar Odom had another solid game with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Gasol and Ariza added 13 points each. Kobe, who also contributed 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks, surpassed Larry Bird for sixth in the Playoffs all-time scoring list with 3,928 points.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "Obviously, Fish will come back and claim his spot -- that's the way it is -- and Jordan's game will certainly be noted"

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "I'm just doing what I do best, 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."

Jordan Farmar (Lakers): I usually don't get nervous, but having been on the end of the bench, I just really didn't want to disappoint myself. ... "It's a tough business. You've just got to be ready, you never know when your opportunity is going to come. No one in the world would have guessed Derek Fisher would be suspended for a game. It's funny how things work out."

Luis Scola (Rockets): "There is nothing to say, they played better and they deserved to win and that's why they won."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Houston Rockets
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Kobe Bryant 33 6 3 2 3 4/6 3pt
Lamar Odom 16 13 - 1 2  
Pau Gasol 13 6 3 - 1  
Trevor Ariza 13 5 2 4 -  
Jordan Farmar 12 5 7 2 1  
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Ron Artest 25 6 1 - 1 ejected
Yao Ming 19 14 2 1 2  
Luis Scola 10 12 - - -  
Carl Landry 10 6 - - -  
Kyle Lowry 8 4 4 - -  

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