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LAKERS WON 4-1
GAME 1: LAKERS 72, ROCKETS 71
Rockets miss chance to steal one in L.A.
Final:  Boxscore | Play By Play
 
GAME 2: LAKERS 98, ROCKETS 84
Kobe picks up slack for Shaq
Final:  Boxscore | Play By Play
GAME 3: ROCKETS 102, LAKERS 91
Rockets stop Shaq enough to beat Lakers
Final:  Boxscore | Play By Play
GAME 4: LAKERS 92, ROCKETS 88
Another one gets away from host Rockets
Final:  Boxscore | Play By Play
GAME 5: LAKERS 97, ROCKETS 78
Kobe scores 31; Lakers advance
Final:  Boxscore | Play By Play
Tickets: @LAL | @HOU
Bracket | Message Board

Insider Sitelines
ESPN Radio Audio
 Surging Lakers
GameNight: Heading into the playoffs, Lakers coach Phil Jackson tells Kendall Lewis about the Kobe trial effect, team defense and a dynamic rookie duo.
Listen

Lakers vs Rockets
lal hou  
FINAL 1234 F
ROCKETS 27 21 9 21 78
LAKERS 24 23 25 25 97
BOXSCORE  | PLAY-BY-PLAY  | RECAP
 
 
Shaquille O'Neal Shaq and the Lakers used Houston as a stepping stone.

Kobe Bryant had 31 points, six rebounds and 10 assists to help the Lakers finish off Houston and set up a rematch with the Spurs. More...

Friend: 8 BallInsider
The Lakers can't win without Kobe Bryant, but they don't much like playing with him, either.


A look inside the numbers suggests the Kings will miss Anthony Peeler more than you think.
• Kings' missing key

In the playoffs, they know what you do and how to stop it. So what are you gonna do about it?
• Mission Impossible


Slams and Dunks: Challenging the champ
Looking ahead, L.A. has no shot at knocking out the Spurs without the usual 1-2 punch of Shaq and Kobe.
Bucher: The final verdict on Francis
Steve Francis' game is under heavy cross-examination to determine if he fits in the Rockets' future.

TEAM STATS (Regular Season)
  ROCKETS LAKERS
PPG 89.8 98.2
RPG 42.6 43.1
APG 19.3 23.8
FG% 44.197 45.357
FT% 77.283 69.345
3P% .366 .327

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Regular Season)
  ROCKETS LAKERS
PPG Ming 17.5 Bryant 24.0
RPG Ming 9.0 O'Neal 11.5
APG Francis 6.2 Payton 5.5
FG% Ford 54.545 O'Neal 58.439
FT% Piatkowski 87.500 Carter 91.667
3P% Wilks .600 Pargo .500


More from ESPN
Tolbert: Advice for coming back from 3-1
The only way to play while in a 3-1 hole is to scratch, claw and fight for your playoff lives.
Payton: No regrets in joining Lakers
Gary Payton joined the Lakers looking to win his first NBA championship. He's found the adjustment much more difficult than anticipated.
Rockets owner blasts Mailman for physical play
Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander said he believes the NBA should suspend Los Angeles Lakers forward Karl Malone for his physical play.
GP silent over reduced minutes
Phil Jackson favors the shooting of Derek Fisher and Kareem Rush over Gary Payton, particularly down the stretch. Payton has kept silent, but clearly is unhappy about his lack of minutes in the playoffs.
Legler: Missing playoff persons report
Have you seen Cuttino Mobley, Keith Van Horn and Jason Williams lately? Their teams haven't.
Kobe speaks: Bryant ends media boycott
Kobe Bryant took a brief break from his self-imposed media boycott Friday, giving an impromptu interview to The Associated Press in which he explained his extended silence with a short answer: "One thing, I am stubborn."
Lakers' Medvedenko misses practice again
Slava Medvedenko skipped practice for the second straight day Thursday because of a strained right Achilles' tendon and is questionable for Game 3 of the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff series against Houston.
Lakers struggling, but still winning
Shaquille O'Neal has never been worse in the NBA playoffs, and he isn't alone.
Slams and Dunks: Lakers' energy crisis
Shaquille O'Neal must bring the Lakers to life if they're going to get past the Rockets in the first round.
Bucher: L.A.'s much-needed recovery period
The earlier the Lakers eliminate the Rockets, the more time they'll have for healing their wounds.
Insider Breakdown: Lakers vs. Rockets
Longtime NBA assistant coach and scout Brian James takes an in-depth look at the first-round matchups.

Roster: LAL | HOU
History: LAL | HOU
Bracket