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fistpumpNow, that is Laker basketball. It all starts with defense and it ends with a Laker W as they reclaimed home court advantage and took a 2-1 series lead in Houston.

The Lakers only shot 44% from the field, but took care of the boards by outrebounding the Rockets 56-42 and took care of the ball with 11 less turnovers than Houston.

In 48 minutes of play, the Lakers only had 6 turnovers!

The Lakers played great second half basketball tonight and it showed as Houston was frustrated all night. Once again, every Laker starter scorer at least ten points.

There is much more to say about this sweet road win, but it’s Friday night, so on to the bests of the night…

Top 3 Laker Performers

1) Kobe didn’t shoot well, but he hit big shots and played solid ball all night. 33 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, no turnovers, 2 steals and 3 blocks.

2) Lamar had a very quiet double-double tonight. 16 points and 12 boards.

3) Farmar stepped up for Fisher tonight. His seven assists kept the Triangle moving tonight.

Lakers Smush of the Day (Note: STD denotes the Laker that played the poorest): Sasha continues to shoot poorly. 1-6 tonight.

What to Look for Next Game: Hopefully much of what you saw tonight, but who knows with this team.

Ticket Info: Game 5 tickets on sale now — closeout game? E-Mail me at Steve@AveryTickets.com or call 213-221-7681 and mention TLN for tickets.

Go Lakers!

  • Vudoo

    Rockets actually out boarded us, we played really well though!

  • gugy

    Lakers played really well.
    They had composure.
    Everybody played well. Congrats to Farmar. I hope he does play more minutes next game. He does match well with Houston’s pgs.

    hahahaha
    Artest is losing, ejected once again.
    The guy is losing completely. I just said yesterday that he would be eject. I am just surprise it was this early.
    I will say again, he will be eject once more and maybe suspended a game. The dude is a psycho and he is getting out of control.

  • http://lakersground.net lakers4life

    Rockets 56 rebounds
    Lakers 43 rebounds

    we got outrebounded and we still won. CHEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    6 turnovers for the entire game was shocking to see on the box score. good shit.

  • Brett

    Everybody with me now, BOOOOOOOOOOOB!

  • http://yahoo.com markco2

    again sasha been jacking up those 3’s..
    i hope he make those on game4.. he’s the only laker i dont wanna see shoot that spalding.. anyway, lets go lakers!!! let’s take their manhood on 5games!!

  • Mr. WoodCock

    Great Win! I thought the officiating was fair on both ends, so the haters can’t blame the refs for this loss. We could have easily won by 20 pts if the Lakers would hit their damn FT.

    The starters did a good job with everyone in double figures. I would like to see Odumb and Gasol step up and be more aggressive. We need to do a better job on the boards.

    The bench did a better job. My only complaint is Vujabrick and Bowell. They were horrible. Fluke & Bynum are actually in the plus. Brown did a good job, be he screwed up in the 3rd by going for the steal which freed up one of the Rockets. PJ pulled him off the court and put Farmer back in. This is normal with PJ and new players. The bench needs to step up and give us more production.

    Vujabrick gets paid $4+ mil/season to play 10-15 min/game. This dude is pathetic. He needs to earn his check. Most of us would work our entire lifetime and would never make as much as this dude makes in one season. I hate fans that make excuses for these overpaid players. These are grown men and professional athletes, not underpaid d-league players. If you suck, fans have the right to voice their opinions and throw you under the bus.

    Now that I got that off my chest… if we win on Sunday, the Rockets are toast. We will close it out at Staples. Yeow is done, so we have an advantage.

    Does Ron get suspended for the flagrant 2 foul?

  • http://steveodesignedge.wordpress.com/ dEDGE

    Artest single handedly shot the Rockets out of the game in the 3rd quarter. He jacked up 3 after 3 that had even his teammates yelling for him to pass the ball. D-Fish must’ve been smiling in his hotel suite after the stellar performances by his two wingmen, Farmar and Brown.

  • Dragon

    Rockets just had too many turn overs and they weren’t making their shots if they were I think it would have been a close one. Lakers did well enough to win hopefully then can take another game away so it won’t be another tie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529153944 deafdefiant

    Fisher = Game 3 MVP

  • http://TheVerveNerve.com Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #70492 Will Be Quoted Here]

    what game is Steve Avery watching? :cool:

  • OnenOnly24

    I knew Farmar was going to have a good game. It kind of reminded me of Lamar’s suspension then Powell did a great job being his replacement. It’s also good to see Bynum putting up at least a few numbers, its a start and I hope it continues to go up. Sad to see Artest ejected again for a bad call just because the officials didn’t want it to escalate.

  • roro

    I loved how the lakers played the game. It was hard fought game, and it was great that they only had six turnovers. Everyone did there part even Bynum played well and defended Yao well enough.

  • LakerChick24

    stuck in philly until i graduate in a week (from LA, coming home soon)….. just fyi – theres SO much love for the lakers here and everyone hates the rockets. East coast love (for the time being) for 24 and my boys :)

  • sketch

    You guys see Farmar’s block on Brooks? Nice… 2 Pac 10 guys(Farmar, UCLA/ Brooks Oregon) goin at each other! I’m so glad to see his confidence back! The last few games, he just looked like a lost puppy dog. Props to Phil going with Farmar to start and it paid dividends immediately!

    Game 2 was an ugly win for us, but I’ll take it. This game was just fun! It was great to see the Lakes move the ball with such fluidity. LO’s been cutting to the rack nicely tonight! His freelancin and boards really gave us the energy to finish the Rockets off tonight! That block on Scola was sweet! In fact, all of the blocks by the Lakers were nice. Kobe had what… 2 on Yao? Bynum swatted Lowry’s shot. It was a block party tonight yo!

    Go Lakers! Lakers in 5!

  • Rihanna

    oOo ron ron, how i love you, you sexy best, i want to fukc you

  • dcb2069

    [Comment ID #70510 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Agreed about Artest. Yes, the man is a little off the rocker, but that wasn’t a flagrant two. Probably a flagrant one. But I do hope he doesn’t get suspended. If he does, I suspect that his reputation would play a huge role in that decision.

    It was a move by the refs to keep the game under control. They definitely overreacted, but with the way the series has been going, I can sort of understand it. I don’t agree with it though, esp. since someone like Rondo can explicitly punch someone and not even get a flagrant is ridiculous.

    The Wafer play also bothered me. If you look at the replay, it looks like Sasha would have flown right by him if Wafer had not moved. I understand the idea of drawing contact, but Wafer literally jumped left into Sasha’s path. That should have been an offensive foul. Maybe if Wafer had jumped forward and got the contact, it would have been more plausible. But jeez, that sequence was utterly ridiculous.

  • lainok

    the horrible officiating is still a concern. I want us to win, and I love the lakers, but I am fair enough to know that artest definately should not have been ejected. that was one of the worst calls I’ve seen all season. even kobe has stepped up to defend the dude the last two games. in game three artest was a victim of the chaos on the court. same reason kobe got a tech for taunting. but last night it was just a hard foul, nothing more.

  • Lakers 24 7

    Kobe’s ball handling is excellent. Dude’s goin’ crazy with the ball just to get an open look.

  • farmabrick

    I am stunned by how well Farmar played. How come he can’t play that well all the time? I’m still gonna bust on him because of the inconsistency, but give Jordan his props: he played extremely well in Game 3. Well done, J-Far.

    Kobe looked like he was playing on an 8-foot hoop.

    Overall, the team, in its entirety played a lot better than it did in Games 1 and 2. They seem to like playing in the Toyota Center, now going 3-0 this season.

    Is 4-0 in the Toyota Center possible? We’ll find out Sunday.

    Go Lakes!

  • T-Dub

    It is really evident how good Kobe really is in a game like this. Watching the Cavs game the other day, they were talking about how deep the Cavs are with their whole second unit being NBA starters at one point in their careers with a couple being ex-allstars. Only Pau, LO and Fish has been starters in this league that Kobe plays with. Think about it Kobe haters…Ariza, Farmar, Walton, Powell, Bynum, Zasha, Brown. With these guys, the Lakers are the best team in the league?? And Kobe is not team player or makes teamates better?? I don’t know if this would even be a .500 team and Lebron is the MVP??

  • LEADERFISH

    [Comment ID #70524 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Lebron has .. Has been all stars who aren’t nearly as good as they once were. This team.. Lakers would still be a 50+ win without kobe. They are very deep and talented. The lakers have all stars and up and coming all stars. When kobe shoots poorly they still can win.

  • trademaster 2009

    this series is kinda like philadelphia 2001. philadelphia stole the first game in staples center and then the lakers won the next four

  • Anthony

    As Steve said it’s Friday night. He’s bound to screw little things up here and there. Hehe.

    “Hopefully much of what you saw tonight, but who knows with this team.” — This is definitely true.

    Can someone get a hold of Lamar and Kobe? I’m not much for watching the other players without the ball, but I noticed that Kobe and Lamar (possibly others, but none more important than these two) tend to stand around while others have the ball. Imagine what they could do if they’d move around? Lamar and Kobe do this at times (Lamar @ Cleavland this year) and surely Kobe has done this plenty, but they need get more into the game even if they’re not holding the ball.

  • iamthetie

    Agreed with some comments above. Series MVP so far goes to D-Fish for sending the message that these Lakers will not be pushed around on the floor.

    Props have to go to Farmar for a great game, obvious props to Kobe for setting the tone in the game early and coming up clutch all night, and Andrew Bynum for playing some solid interior defense. He didn’t fill up the box score, but he wasn’t forcing the issue on offense and he was doing a pretty good job moving his feet and providing weak side help.

  • felipe

    Great win that’s how the lakers should play. But guys i had a question in the Postseason will we be able to pay ariza and odom because i believe we need them both. If we had to get one id say ariza.

  • Kobe Is The REAL MVP

    It is really evident how good Kobe really is in a game like this. Watching the Cavs game the other day, they were talking about how deep the Cavs are with their whole second unit being NBA starters at one point in their careers with a couple being ex-allstars. Only Pau, LO and Fish has been starters in this league that Kobe plays with. Think about it Kobe haters…Ariza, Farmar, Walton, Powell, Bynum, Zasha, Brown. With these guys, the Lakers are the best team in the league?? And Kobe is not team player or makes teamates better?? I don’t know if this would even be a .500 team and Lebron is the MVP?? ”

    Lebron has .. Has been all stars who aren’t nearly as good as they once were. This team.. Lakers would still be a 50+ win without kobe. They are very deep and talented. The lakers have all stars and up and coming all stars. When kobe shoots poorly they still can win.”

    Give me a break. You give the MVP to a guy that David Stern has been trying to hand the league over to since he was drafted, to a guy that was campaigned for all season by his team. Smells like another Karl Malone MVP to me. While I take nothing way from Malone, who rightfully won one of his two MVP’s, or Lebron who is sensational, you don’t win unless you lead your team on and off the floor. When he takes a seat so does the offense. KObe pushes those guys when he’s riding the pine, and they know what he expects out of them. LeBron was great all season, but seriously the Cavs play most of their games against the LEastern Conference, couldn’t even manage winning records against the best in the league, only managed to beat their achilles heal (The Spurs) when they’re injured and down, and have the easiest schedule in route to the Finals. They earned that number one seed, but you switch conferences with these teams, and I guarantee the Lakers would’ve managed better than Clevland. That had a shot while everyone was hurting, missing something, or trying to claw back from a horrible stretch of play, and all they can do is 66 and barely squeeze above .500 against the best in the league. No way he earned that MVP Trophy he’s got, just like when Nash won it the two years Kobe carried LA. I love Nash but he only earned the first year he won it, he carried Phoenix all year.

  • Kobe Is The REAL MVP

    [Comment ID #70526 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Give me a break. You give the MVP to a guy that David Stern has been trying to hand the league over to since he was drafted, to a guy that was campaigned for all season by his team. Smells like another Karl Malone MVP to me. While I take nothing way from Malone, who rightfully won one of his two MVP’s, or Lebron who is sensational, you don’t win unless you lead your team on and off the floor. When he takes a seat so does the offense. KObe pushes those guys when he’s riding the pine, and they know what he expects out of them. LeBron was great all season, but seriously the Cavs play most of their games against the LEastern Conference, couldn’t even manage winning records against the best in the league, only managed to beat their achilles heal (The Spurs) when they’re injured and down, and have the easiest schedule in route to the Finals. They earned that number one seed, but you switch conferences with these teams, and I guarantee the Lakers would’ve managed better than Clevland. That had a shot while everyone was hurting, missing something, or trying to claw back from a horrible stretch of play, and all they can do is 66 and barely squeeze above .500 against the best in the league. No way he earned that MVP Trophy he’s got, just like when Nash won it the two years Kobe carried LA. I love Nash but he only earned the first year he won it, he carried Phoenix all year.

    I didn’t understand how to qqoute someone else in your comment, my bad……..

  • L.G.Fuad411

    lakers in 5 most likely now. if houston had won it could have been vice versa.

    somebody need to update the main page. the “11” should be crossed out already.

  • T-Dub

    This Laker team would NOT win 40 games in the west without Kobe. Other than Pau and maybe Bynum one day, I don’t see any future all-stars on this team. What are you smokin????

  • Fan of the Mamba

    Leaderfish,

    I disagree with your the Lakers would be a 50 win team without Kobe. You said because they can still win when Kobe is having an off shooting night. Do you realize that is because Kobe can do more than shoot? He can rebound, assist and play lockdown D. Kobe is gonna retire in the next few years and what you will find is that the Lakers depended on all the things he brings to the game to facilitate the Lakers being a winning team.

    For example, Kobe commands double and tripled team, which opens up the floor for everyone else, whether he scoring or not. Who else on the team commands that kind of respect?

    Further more if what you say is true than we should have beat Boston last year easily, regardless of how Kobe played.

    Don’t get it twisted. The Lakers are as good as they are because of the talent of their players but Kobe Bryant brings a lot of intangibles to the table that won’t be missed until he’s not there anymore.

    Lest you forget, he took Devin Green, Smush Parker and Kwame Brown to the playoffs and came to within one victory of making it to the second round against the top seeded team.

    Without Kobe Bryant the current Laker’s squad would most likely be down 3-0 Houston.

  • LEADERFISH

    Less than 40 games? lmao We have Pau (all star) LO (who plays like an all star half the time). The deepest team in the NBA. The best frontline in the NBA in Pau, Bynum, and LO. Don’t forget we lost bynum for many games this year. Our record would have been better than it is right now. The west isn’t as strong as it was last year. Keep smokin your doobie. I think it has made your brain unable to analyze.

  • Stephen

    Great Win, that’s the Laker basketball that I like to see! I hop that Sasha can make a few more threes cuz most of the time his shots are big momentum shifters for us and we would be even tougher to beat. Lets go get game 4!!

  • LEADERFISH

    [Comment ID #70548 Will Be Quoted Here]

    We would have won probably 68 games with a healthy Bynum all season. Without kobe we still would not have lost 18 additional games. This team is deep. Pau many times demands a double team and with the tri offense and a share the ball mentality I know we would get 50+ games with a PJ coached team.

    We lost to Boston because we didn’t play D. Plus they had a deep team like we do this year. The intangibles are brought out by every player not just kobe. Yeah he took those scrubs to the 8th seed. Now he has lots of talent (thanks mitch) around him. I wasn’t talking about how much down we would be to houston I was saying we would win 50+ games in the regular season.

  • Fan of the Mamba

    LOL! I know what you said, we would win 50+ games in the regular season, even if Kobe wasn’t on the team. Didn’t know I was restricted in what I could say in my response. LOL!!! I know you believe what you’re saying.

    The reality is our deep team wasn’t half as good this year as it was last year and we lost how many big leads this year requiring Kobe to return to the game to finish it off and in a few he wasn’t able to because he had totally cooled off. And you still think that the Lakers wouldn’t have lost at least 16 more games. The loss of big leads and the lackadasical play of our bench for most of the season doesn’t bear out your 50+ win theory.

    No one on the lakers team is doubled or tripled team like Kobe, not Pau, not Bynum, not LO. And do you really think PJ would be coaching the team if Kobe wasn’t on it? Do you really?

    With or without Bynum the Lakers win 80% of their games which means the team would have the same record they have now.

    Honestly, the only way to prove this to you is to just wait. Kobe will retire soon and it’ll be self evident. That is, unless the Lakers get another superstar to replace him.

    Until then you will continue to minimize the faults of our deep team and maximize the lack of value of having a Kobe Bryant on the Lakers.

    Let’s agree to disagree on this subject. We are all down for the Lakers and we just want them to win the ship!

    Go Lakers!

  • LEADERFISH

    Not restricting you. Just reiterating my argument. I release the shackles of you. We are a much more mature team this year with a year of experience and we had Pau all season and Bynum most of the season. This bears out my theory that we would have definitely won 50 games. Kobe is great but we have a very good team even without him. How did Phil coach with Pippen without Michael. They won 50+ games. PJ didn’t run from that team and he serves out his contract obligations. You don’t know PJ.

    Many times Pau has mismatches and LO does too… and with the weak center play in the Nba when Bynum was comfortable he could score on many centers in this league.

    I never lacked kobe’s value. You just tend to lack the value of this team which has loads of talent even without the Great Mamba.

  • lakerschamps-09

    i think we were the one that got outrebounded not da rockets..good win tho

  • Fan of the Mamba

    And who on the Lakers is Pippen (One of the 50 greatest of all time)?

    What I do know is that a great player raises the level of play of those around him. Kobe is such a player and has raised the level of play of those around him.

    Pau was good on Memphis, and what record did they have when he was their star? He’s better on the Lakers, why because it’s easier for him, why because he’s playing with a great player.

    Dude please how many games has LO been missing in action? How many times have we all complained about the lack of ability of our deep bench of making shots, good decisions, playing consistent defense, etc. It’s not just about scoring, it’s about stopping the other team from scoring more.

    I love the Lakers, have loved the Lakers for over 30 years, but I give credit where credit is due. Without Magic Johnson it would have been very hard for the Lakers to win championships, even with Kareem, Rambis, Worthy, Scott and Cooper. That’s just the way it is. As Magic was, Kobe Bryant now is the ocean that floats the Lakers boat. And I’m fine with that as are many others. Kobe can’t win alone so I’m glad that he’s got his guys with him. Now lets go out and win the ship!

    Let me say this, there are lots of NBA teams with loads of talent. The Memphis Grizzles have loads of talent and where are they right now. And what is their record right now. The Phoenix Suns have loads of talent and where are they now? It takes more than talent, you got to have that one individual that is the sticky tape that binds the thing together. Kobe is our tape!

    Go Lakers!

  • Chris Brown

    Wow i started off the whole Chris Brown thing on TLN and now there’s a Rihanna

    Well look for the Lakers to kick some ass next game just like me

  • LEADERFISH

    Look at the bulls team without jordan and this laker team without Kobe. The talent level is very similiar. Pau led that memphis team to the PO’s and this was when he was younger. Now he is even better with loads of talent with him. Not too mention the tri offense fits him to a T better than the offense he ran in Memphis.

    Before Magic joined the lakers the lakers won 47 games. Magic added 13 extra games. I don’t think Kobe pushes this team more than a Magic Johnson and Magic made his whole team better by not just scoring but in passing and rebounding and just his character. So I will give you kobe adds games but definitely not more than a Magic Johnson. I think you just proved my point with bringing up Magic’s contribution. Thanks. LOL

  • Fan of the Mamba

    Now I know where you coming from.

    Never compared Magic and Kobe in other way than to say their presence made their teams better than they would have been without them. Actually I think it’s the other way around, you proved my point. The Lakers were 13 games better with Magic than without him. They only won 47 games and the team included Kareem, Norm Nixon, Michael Cooper and Adrian Dantley that is to say 2 hall of famers and a perennial all team defensive player in Michael Cooper. And these guys are and were much better than any of our current players including LO and Pau.

    Magic made his team better not just by scoring which is the same for Kobe. Kobe does and can do more than score. You keep going back to scoring but that’s not all Kobe does, which is what I said in my very first response. It’s not Kobe’s scoring that the Lakers would miss, as I said earlier, it his ability to make the game easier for his teammates based on the attention he garners just being on the floor, which frees them up to score, rebound, shot the gaps for steals etc. It’s his ability to guard the best player on the other team to get a stop when the Lakers need a stop, or a block or a steal to change the momentum. It’s his competitiveness and drive for excellence that they would miss more than his scoring. As I said it’s the intangibles that he brings that makes the Lakers a better team which don’t show up in the any other statistical category except total wins.

    And thank you! LOL!!!

  • LEADERFISH

    You have to admit Magic’s affect on a team is more team oriented. Magic set his teammates up in ways kobe never could. No knock on kobe but Magic was Magic. Don’t knock our current squad. Pau does more for his team than a Dantley who was just in his 2nd year and cooper was a rookie along with nixon who was a rookie. Those guys became much better later. Kareem I will give you of course. We though have a deeper team of about 9-10 players than that before Magic team in 79 which probably went 8 at the most.

    Magic made other players better by far. HE knew where and when to hit them and knew when to take over a game. Kobe is just learning how and it has been a long time coming.

    Also you need to understand it is much harder to take a 50 win team like the lakers without kobe to 65 wins than it is to take a 35 win team to a 50 win season. Case in point Dwade improved his team about 28 games this year to a 43 win season. If the Miami heat had won 43 games last year without him he wouldn’t be able to lead them to 28 more games (71). Of course not. So kobe taking the lakers up from 50 to 65 is a big accomplishment.

  • RON ARTEST LOVES CAULK

    WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
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  • T-DUB

    Leaderfish and Fan of the Mamba…you guys are having a very nice debate without disrespecting each other unlike some of the numbskulls that used to be on this site alot. But I think myself and Fan are on the same page. We all know the talent level is alot better than it was 3 years ago. However…we do not another player other than Kobe who can get his own shot when things get tight. No one else who can break down the defense and get to the rim. No one else who lock down another player defensively. Not to be on his nuts but all this only he provides. He opens the floor up for everyone else because he draws so much attention. Lebron and D-Wade score 30pts a night because they are not doubled, tripled, and quadrupeled as much as Kobe and are allowed to get to the rim for most of their points. If Kobe were played like those guys, he’d probably average 40pts a game. He provides the most for his team, not just in numbers. Sounds like an MVP to me..

  • i hate the color green

    well the lakers should win this thing in 5, with yao out with a broken foot this is like stu puts it “o-v-e-r”, that sucks because we needed this test, the rockets put a fire under the lakers butt, well hopefully the nuggets will be that last test before we take it to ohio.

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #70593 Will Be Quoted Here]

    You don’t know basketball … at all. The Cavs are NOTHING without Lebron. Lebron goes down … that team is done. With the Lakers, if Kobe were to go down, they can still win and compete in games. The Cavs without Lebron can’t do that. Lebron rightfully won the MVP.

    But really, who the f*ck gives a sh*t about the MVP award? The goal is to win the championship, but then again, you’re a Kobe-only fan, you’ve never ever liked any other Laker (you are NOT a Laker fan… you are a Kobe fan).

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    [Comment ID #70549 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Needless to say, this “FOOL” of Fish is a complete “Joke” of Jester, known to all real Laker Fans across the Nation!

    It is a well known fact, and proven right here, how Mariscos do not have any brains what-so-ever!

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    What ignorant fool would even entertain the thought of The Lakers beating out The Suns for the 8th and final playoff seed, this year, without a Kobe Bryant on the current roster for the entire year!

    Anybody have the child-ness nerve to debate this?

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    [Comment ID #70543 Will Be Quoted Here]

    This is a Cold Hard Fact, and therefore, mind-boggling how any “Real & Educated Lakers Fan” can possibly derive otherwise!