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Rapid Reaction: Houston Rockets 99, Los Angeles Lakers 108

Houston Rockets 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 Los Angeles Lakers
Luis Scola, PF 10-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | -3

Another solid outing by Scola went for naught. He was crafty and fearless going against L.A.’s giants by himself, but, understandably, came up short.

Jordan Hill, C 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | 0

The definition of dominated; Jordan Hill was overmatched in every possible way in tonight’s game. He finished with 4 rebounds to Andrew Bynum’s 22.

Kevin Martin, SG 5-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | -10

Awful shooting performance from Kevin Martin. In a back and forth contest through 3.5 quarters, if a few of Martin’s missed threes went in, the outcome could’ve been a little more interesting. Instead we’re left to wonder as seven of eight deep balls didn’t come close.

Kyle Lowry, PG 8-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 9 AST | 22 PTS | -7

Another stupefying performance from Kyle Lowry. The Western Conference’s best point guard (at the moment) barely missed on a triple double for what feels like the fourth time already this season. He was magnificent in his decision making and finished with one more rebound than his team’s two centers.

Patrick Patterson, PF 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -12

Patterson seems to still be recovering from an ankle injury, but if he’s that hurt he shouldn’t be playing at all. His offensive repertoire right now is popping off screens and missing wide open jumpers. For him to grab 1 rebound in a game where we needed all Houston’s front court players to crash the boards is pathetic.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Despite the scoreboard saying it was a back and forth battle, the Lakers were clearly the better basketball team throughout four quarters. Their dominance in the paint was obvious from the start, and in a game where Kobe Bryant scored 37 points, the Lakers clear star was Andrew Bynum.
  2. Kevin McHale experimented with some interesting lineups, going small when the Lakers had both Bynum and Gasol out on the floor by keeping both Jordan Hill and Sam Dalembert on the bench. It worked for small stretches, but ended like fool’s gold.
  3. Not a whole lot of positive to say about Houston’s performance. They were obliterated on the inside, conceded wide open jumpers in an effort to pack the paint, and played like a team with a considerable front court weaknesses should. The problems down low forced them to guard Kobe one on one, and he made his shots.
  4. Chase Budinger was his usual sneaky self, finishing with a solid stat sheet game. Really fun watching him play within himself, but when he reaches outside his limitations things get ugly in a hurry.
  5. The Rockets didn’t get to the free-throw line (attempting 7 to the Lakers’ 27) and settled on the perimeter all night. They launched 31 three-pointers to L.A.’s 14. Both stats reek of desperation.

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Talk of the Moment: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers (Twitter chat tonight)