NBA Game Summary - Houston at LA Lakers
(Friday, March 30th)
Final Score: Houston 107, LA Lakers 104 (OT)
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in 53 points, almost single-handedly erasing a 12-point fourth quarter deficit, but made two crucial mistakes in the last minute of overtime to hand the Houston Rockets a 107-104 win.
Yao Ming had a season-high 39 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who won their third straight and their eighth of nine. Tracy McGrady had 30 points and 10 boards, and Rafer Alston had 19 points for Houston, which currently holds the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
Lamar Odom had 16 points and 17 boards for the Lakers, who have now lost two straight after running off five straight wins. Kwame Brown scored 15 points for LA, which holds the sixth seed in the West.
"We had to go through a little adversity in the overtime, but we kept fighting," said Houston's Shane Battier.
After scoring eight points in overtime to help the Lakers take a 104-100 lead, Bryant fouled McGrady behind the arc with 51 seconds left, and the Rockets star calmly sank all three to make it 104-103.
After a Bryant miss, a Yao lay-in put the Rockets on top 105-104 with 22.3 ticks left. With a chance to hold and shoot for the win, Bryant traveled on the ensuing trip down the court, and Alston made two free throws with 14.4 seconds left to make it 107-104. Bryant missed a long three from straight away in the final seconds, and the Rockets survived.
"We did the job we had to do, sometimes things don't go your way," said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson.
Trailing 95-92, Kwame Brown missed two free throws for the Lakers with 15.5 seconds left, but the rebound of the second shot rebounded right to Bryant on wing, who nailed a fadeaway three falling out of bounds to tie it at 95 with 11.8 left.
McGrady missed a jumper in the final seconds for the win.
Houston had led 88-76 with 4:30 left, but Bryant strapped the Lakers on his back, scoring 12 straight points to lead a 14-3 run that cut the deficit to 91-90 with a minute to play, setting up the dramatic finish.
Houston closed the third quarter with a 9-2 run, and took a 75-67 lead into the fourth.
McGrady and Bryant each scored 10 points in the first quarter, but Yao added 12 points in the quarter, and the Rockets took a 31-22 lead into the second.
Bryant hit a jumper with three seconds left in the first half pull LA to within 53-48, and to give him 25 points before the break.
This was the Lakers' 10th overtime game of the season, the most since the franchise moved to LA in 1945. LA is now 4-6 on the season in OT games...Houston outrebounded LA, 56-47...The Rockets made 36-of-41 free throws (88 percent).
03/31 02:11:03 ET