This is how playoff basketball is suppose to look like. Aggressive, tense, physical, border-line violent. The Lakers decided they were too flat in game 1 so they came out flying in the First quarter only to see the Rockets come back in the second. So when they grabbed a lead in the third they decided they’re just gonna beat on the Rockets to stop them from coming back.
Derek Fisher elbowed Luis Scola in the face, got ejected and set the stage for the refs to even things up. So when Artest complained a bit too much on Kobe elbowing him he got ejected too, and Battier couldn’t handle Bryant by himself.
Oh yeah, there was some basketball. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 111-98 and go to Houston feeling not too shabby with the series tied at 1 a piece. Kobe had 40 points, shooting 16 for 27 and being pretty much unstoppable. The Lakers got 22 from Gasol who had a great game on both sides of the court. He and Odom limited Yao Ming to only 4 FG attempts, finishing with 12 points. The Rockets had Artest with 25 points, but after he was thrown out it was pretty much over for the Rockets.
Derek Fisher will be suspended unless something really weird happens with the Stern & Jackson court tribunal. Artest shouldn’t be, but it won’t be a big surprise if he will be suspended from the next game as well. Kobe who wasn’t exactly innocent in the whole thing will probably come out clean.
The Rockets can pretty much contain every Laker player except for Kobe. To stop, or at least cool down a bit Bryant the Rockets can’t afford to lose Artest. Carl Landry giving up 21 points from the bench is a good sign. Odom still not going double digit in points this series is also a good sign. Ming has to more aggressive and he probably will be at home. The Rockets can pull the upset over the Lakers, but they must have Artest cause the Lakers are vulnerable.
Can the Rockets pick the energy and aggressiveness levels up for game 3? We’ll know on Friday.