Rockets improve to 5-0
LAS VEGAS -- The Houston Rockets (5-0) stayed perfect in its visit to Las Vegas for the 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA SPORTS with its 92-77 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday in the COX Pavilion. The Rockets and Lakers exchanged nine lead changes and five ties throughout the contest before Houston turned the game in its favor 2:39 into the second half off a layup by Joey Dorsey. The basket put Houston ahead 49-48. Houston outscored Los Angeles by a 27-12 margin in the third quarter after sitting tied at 40 following the first 20 minutes. Both teams fired up 19 shots apiece in the third with the major difference being that Houston made 11 to Los Angeles' five. The Rockets shot nearly 58 percent in the period to the Lakers' 26. Houston wound up extending its lead to 15 to close out the third and hit the 20-mark, 82-62, with 4:52 left in the contest. Chase Budinger gave his squad the 20-point lead, as his jumper was only two of his 14 points he tallied in the second half. Budinger led his team offensively with 25 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Dorsey was one of three Rockets to throw down 11 points, but his 20 rebounds for a double-double were more impressive. His rebound total tied an NBA Summer League record that was set by Lonnie Jones of Cleveland on July 14, 2004 vs. Phoenix. The first quarter started off swimmingly for the Lakers, as the led for all but 18 seconds. They built up a six-point cushion at 8-2 just 3:29 into the game before Houston managed to rattle off an 11-4 run over 3:29 to take a short-lived one-point lead at 13-12. Los Angeles quickly built up a five-point lead which they took into the break. The teams began the second stanza similar to the first. The Lakers went up by seven on two occasions before watching Houston knot things up at 32 with 4:01 remaining before intermission. The Rockets held serve for 2:20 before handing it back to the Lakers for 44 seconds. Houston's Maarty Leunen knotted the game heading into the break at 40 with a trey from the right elbow. Los Angeles' Ben McCauley matched Dorsey's double-double effort, as he combined an 11-point outing with 10 boards. Chinemelu Elonu led the Lakers in scoring with 16, as David Monds followed closely behind with 14.