Lakers Strike Back, Even Series
The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back and prevailed over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semi-finals match-up, 111-98.
Kobe Bryant shook off his poor shooting in Game 1 and scored 40 points on 60% shooting. Pau Gasol had another double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, along with 4 blocks. Both Bryant and Gasol combined for more than half the team’s point total.
Undoubtedly, the Lakers played a much better game over-all in Game 2: they shot much better as a team, executed the offense with improved discipline (resulting in more assists), and was more careful with the ball. Moreover, the team played better defense. They held the Rockets to a lower shooting percentage and controlled the paint better (and limiting Yao Ming’s effectiveness). The only thing for concern in my opinion is the lackluster production from the Lakers bench.
It’s important to note that the Lakers looked more aggressive on both ends of the court. From what I observed, they did not back down from the physical play (from Derek Fisher‘s roughhousing to Kobe Bryant’s standing up to Ron Artest). The Rockets, on the hand, did hung tough with the huge second quarter surge, but came up short in the second half.
I had little doubt that the Lakers would win Game 2, but with the series now shifting to Houston, the Lakers now find themselves going on the road without a 2-0 cushion for the first time this playoffs.
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