The Houston Rockets Won’t Give Up
Before May 8th’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets were playing their best basketball of the year. They were a trendy pick to beat the Lakers and advance to the Western Conference Finals. However, late in the game on Friday night, Yao Ming went down with a broken left foot, ending his season… and all hope for the Rockets, right? Wrong! Last night, the Yao-less and McGrady-less Rockets beat the Lakers 99-87 to tie the series up 2-2.
The Rockets played a tough, physical game with the notion that defense can still win championships. Without Yao, the Rockets top scorer, other players had to step up. Point Guard Aaron Brooks scored a career high 34 points and Shane Battier added 23 points. “I think everyone but us got the memo that we weren’t supposed to show up today without Yao,” Battier said.
The Rockets never trailed and at one point led by as many as 29 points. “I’m not surprised,” said Battier. “It almost sounds cliche, but we’re a resilent group. We talk about bouncing back. Through adversity, through lineup changes, through trades, through injuries, we’ve never quit and we’ve never stopped believing.”
Kobe Bryant only scored 15 points and never once made it to the free throw line. Without Yao in the lineup though, Lakers Center Pau Gasol had his way in the paint, scoring 30 points. If the Rockets want to win Game 5 in Los Angeles they’ll have to figure out a way to stop Pau.