Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rockets beat Lakers in Game 1

       The Daily News asked in this morning's paper if  Yao Ming pulled a Paul Pierce last night when he injured his knee in a collision with Kobe Bryant? Yao was on the floor in pain for several minutes, then was helped off the court to the locker room, only to return shortly thereafter.
       TNT caught a tense scene under the stands between Yao and members of the Rockets' medical staff, who wanted the 7-6 center to have his knee examined. But Yao, with his hands on the wall and flexing his legs, argued with a trainer that he was alright, and then gingerly walked back out to the Houston bench.
      Doug Collins, the TNT color commentator, noted that the longer Yao waited to get back in the game, the faster the knee would stiffen up. Yao came back and finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds, and the Rockets never lost their lead during the time he was out.

       add TNT: In the post-game analysis, both Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley said the Rockets can beat the Lakers in a seven-game series, but for different reasons. Smith said that the Rockets match up well against the Lakers. Barkley said that Houston's defense could be the difference, and he added that Derek Fisher, because of his age, "can't keep [guard] Aaron  Brooks in front of him." Barkley suggested that Phil Jackson may have to use Jordan Farmar to guard Brooks, who consistently broke down the Lakers' defense.

        add Series: The Rockets have a history of beating the Lakers in the playoffs. In 1981, Ralph Sampson led Houston's victory in a best-of-three series. And in 1986, the Rockets beat the Lakers with Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon in the front court.

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