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2009 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Semifinals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets, Game 7

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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 4 - 3 Houston Rockets

GAME 7: L.A. Lakers 89 - Houston Rockets 70

It took 7 games but the Lakers proved to be the better team

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers Gasol: 21 Gasol: 18 Bryant: 5
Rockets Brooks: 13 Artest: 8 Artest: 5
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 22 29 18 20 89
HOU 12 19 19 20 70
click for Lakers 2009 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Western Conference Semifinals vs. Houston Rockets Game 7
Picture Gallery (LAT)

May 17 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. - Nobody expected this series to go to 7 games but despite showing many weaknesses the Lakers proved they are better than the Rockets, and in the final game there were no doubts. The Lakers dominated Houston from beginning to end and won 89-70, a score that does not show the 30-point difference the Lakers had with 3 minutes left, before relaxing and allowing the Rockets to score the final 12 points to make it a little less embarrassing.

Pau Gasol dominated the paint scoring 21 points and grabbing 18 rebounds (6 offensive) to go with 3 blocked shots. He made 10 of 19 shots and received an ovation when he left the floor with 3:34 remaining in the game. Trevor Ariza added 15 points and Kobe Bryant, who was on the floor just 33 minutes, contributed 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. With the Lakers trying to end the series showing their true identity, even Andrew Bynum made his presence felt in the paint with 14 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes.

Facing elimination the Lakers played defense with all the intensity they lacked at Houston, outrebounded the Rockets 55-33 and had 10 blocked shots (to only 3 for Houston). It all started with Ariza who scored 9 points including 2 three-pointers while L.A. opened the game 13-2. They won the first quarter 22-12 with the Rockets missing forced shots from everywhere. And it continued in the second quarter, the Lakers went to halftime up 51-31 as the series was basically over. Aaron Brooks was held to 13 points and Luis Scola to 11 and Houston shot .368 from the field.

The Lakers will host the opener of the conference finals against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

The Quotes

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): about Gasol "I was just proud of the way he played. He answered the challenge and he played like one of the best players in the world. I was just excited for him. We all know what he can do offensively. I just felt like defensively, he had a superb game." And about what he learned from this series: "That we're bipolar..."

Pau Gasol (Lakers): "I think we learned that if we play hard every night and we're ready to compete, starting on the defensive end, we're going to give ourselves a chance, hopefully we're going to carry that into the next round and to a championship. That's something we need to do consistently, no matter what, no matter where we play."

Shane Battier (Rockets): "Coming in here for Game 7, we knew they were going to give us their best shot, especially in the first quarter. To be honest with you, we just didn't have energy to match it. Unfortunately, after we got past the first quarter we played them pretty straight up, but the damage had been done at that point."

Ron Artest (Rockets): "Obviously, the Lakers are more experienced than us, but I thought we were the better team. I thought it was a good learning experience for these guys. They've been through a Game 7. Most young teams get swept. That will really help the Rockets in the future."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers Houston Rockets
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Pau Gasol 21 18 1 1 3  
Trevor Ariza 15 5 1 - 2  
Kobe Bryant 14 7 5 3 2  
Andrew Bynum 14 6 - 1 2  
Sasha Vujacic 9 3 2 1 -  
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl More
Aaron Brooks 13 3 3 1 -  
Luis Scola 11 6 1 1 -  
Von Wafer 10 2 - - -  
Chuck Hayes 8 5 1 5 1  
Ron Artest 7 8 5 1 -  

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