Saturday , Dec , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Kobe nets 53 as Lakers rally to down Rockets in 2-OT

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant rose to the occasion with 53
points, and the Lakers rallied from a 21-point deficit for a 112-101 double-
overtime victory over the Houston Rockets.

Bryant shot just 17-of-38 from the field, but also had 10 rebounds and eight
assists.

The Rockets, who lost to Golden State on a last-second shot by Baron Davis
Thursday night, fell a night later despite 35 points, 15 rebounds and a
career-high eight blocks for Yao Ming.

Smush Parker added 17 points for the Lakers, who have won four of their last
five games.

Rafer Alston had 19 points and 10 assists before fouling out for Houston,
which has dropped three in a row.

Bryant took over immediately in the second OT, driving past Yao, who had five
fouls, for an emphatic slam and a 101-99 Los Angeles lead. The Lakers scored
the opening nine points of the second OT, with Bryant ending the flurry with a
jumper from the right baseline.

Parker had a three-pointer included in the push.

Bryant then sealed the win with a layup, right after Kwame Brown blocked Yao,
making it 110-101 with just over a minute left.

The Lakers didn’t lead until the final two minutes of regulation. Parker’s
three from the right corner boosted LA to an 86-85 edge.

After Luther Head’s layup, Parker drove in for a bank shot and an 88-87
contest with 1:21 left. Yao missed a shot, and Head mistakenly had an
intentional foul away from the ball, and Bryant made one foul shot.

Yao though had a controversial block on Luke Walton with 45.2 seconds left,
giving Houston the ball after a timeout. Replays showed Yao blocked the shot
after it hit the glass, which should have resulted in a goaltending.

Yao then drilled a jumper from the right baseline to tie the game with 28.7
seconds remaining.

With the shot clock running down, Bryant was off the mark on an attempt from
the right corner. Houston inbounded the ball with 1.9 seconds left, but
Brown’s desperation shot from beyond halfcourt missed.

A fallaway jumper by Yao in the lane tied the game at 99 with 38.2 seconds
left in the first OT. He missed another shot in the closing seconds, but
Houston went into a second extra session when Bryant missed at the buzzer.

The Rockets dominated early, scoring the right eight points and ended with 11
straight to end the first quarter for a 29-10 lead.

A Dikembe Mutombo dunk to start the second quarter gave Houston its first 21-
point lead. Shane Battier’s layup made it 51-30, and the Rockets led 53-35 at
the break. The Lakers were within 66-60 going into the fourth.

Game Notes

It was Bryant’s 13th career game with at least 50 points, the leader among
active players…The Lakers have won four straight meetings…Houston has lost
12 of its last 17 on the road versus the Lakers…Brian Cook had 10- points
for the Lakers, while Juwan Howard scored 14 and Battier 10 for Houston…Yao
went 15-of-35 from the field.

HOU LAL