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News » ROCKETS SUMMARY 2009-05-12


Reputation precedes

The Rockets' Ron Artest admits his bad-boy reputation probably didn't help when he was ejected from Game 2 for confronting the Lakers' Kobe Bryant.

"It wasn't racial profiling, it was past history profiling," Artest said at Friday's shoot-around at Toyota Center.

With about seven minutes remaining in the game, Artest and Bryant tangled for a rebound under the basket. Artest was called for an over-the-back foul and ran across the court and exchanged words, motioning that Bryant elbowed him in the neck.

The NBA assessed Bryant a flagrant-1 foul but did not eject him.

"I think (Kobe) knows he got away with one," Artest said. "That's the referees' job to see. Joey (Crawford) was doing a good job. He was involved in every play except the Kobe plays."

Friend of Jack

During the first two games of the series, the Rockets' Ron Artest was seen mingling with actor Jack Nicholson, who sits courtside at Staples Center.

"He's the best," Artest said. "Every time he gives me a (high-five) or something before I go out on the floor, I always wind up hitting a shot or doing well."

Asked if Nicholson is that powerful, the Rockets' Shane Battier said:, "Have you seen A Few Good Men? Did he order the code red? That's all you have to say about that."

Contain Gasol

Pau Gasol's move to center in Game 2 did not surprise the Rockets . But it did require adjustments heading into Friday's Game 3.

"We have to force him out a little bit more and we have to get him a little more help," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We knew that was going to be a problem area for us. Gasol likes to face him (Yao Ming) up and attack him. We have to be there to help him. (Yao) has to push him out more and just move his feet to contain his dribble so we can get some help to him."

Solidarity movement

With Astros Hunter Pence and Geoff Blum sporting mohawks in support of the Rockets , the originator of the look with the Rockets was appreciative enough to offer to support the Astros, too.

"That's beautiful," Von Wafer said. "We're going to have to go out there and support those guys. Tell them to send some tickets over here."

Rockets guard Ron Artest, who moved to the mohawk look for the second-round series, liked the gesture as well, but thought they could add the team logo as he did.

"That's hot," Artest said.

Contrite Wafer

Rockets guard Von Wafer, in a pregame huddle in the hallway outside the Rockets' locker room, apologized to the team for being a distraction in Game 2.

Coach Rick Adelman sent Wafer to the locker room early in the fourth quarter Wednesday when he protested being out of the game.

Looking for Derek Fisher

Lakers coach Phil Jackson admitted prior to Friday's game he was concerned about not having veteran point guard Derek Fisher in the lineup. Fisher was suspended for throwing an elbow at Luis Scola in Game 2.

Second-year pro Jordan Farmar started in place of Fisher, who has been in 161 career playoff games. He's averaging 9.6 points and 2.9 assists in the playoffs.

"Derek's been a knock-down shooter in the playoffs for the last 10 years," Jackson said. "He's been a solid performer playoff-wise and has that experience. There's the collaboration he and Kobe (Bryant) have had over the years, the last two years especially since he's been back with the Lakers.

"He has a way that if guys are all feeding into Kobe all the time and giving the ball to him and he's demanding the ball, he can go away somewhere else and get the offense started and maybe come back to him later in the clock. He's got the knowledge and ability to do that."

Lakers lead series 2-1

Gm. Result Top scorer Top rebounder

1 Rockets 100, Lakers 92 Bryant 32 Gasol 13

2 Lakers 111, Rockets 98 Bryant 40 Gasol 14

3 Lakers 108, Rockets 94 Bryant 33 Yao 14

Gm. When/where TV Radio

? 4 2:30 Sunday, Toyota Center ABC 610 AM, 850 AM (Span.)

5 9:30 Tue., Los Angeles TNT 610 AM, 850 AM (Span.)

6* TBA Thu., Toyota Center ESPN 610 AM, 850 AM (Span.)

7* TBA May 17, Los Angeles TBA 610 AM, 850 AM (Span.)

* - if necessary

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 12, 2009


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