You saw the game, now read what the Lakers and Houston Rockets had to say about it after Game 1 tonight at Staples Center. OK, just in case you didn’t see it or hear it or read about it, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 100-92.
The Lakers led only briefly and trailed by as many as 11 points late in the fourth quarter. Kobe Bryant had 32 points on 14-for-31 shooting. Yao Ming had 28 for Houston. Bryant and Yao knocked knees late in the game, with Yao getting the worst of it. He returned after less than a minute and helped the Rockets gain home-court advantage.
Bryant: “It’s one game. Everybody is disappointed that we lost … but there’s nothing much we can do about it now. We are a good road team. We believe that we can win anywhere. We just have to bounce back Wednesday and go from there.”
Bryant: “We just blew some defensive assignments and key moments. We missed a rotation here and there, gave up baskets and points and good looks. That’s something that we cannot do and (still) make a run. You have to make them take at least contested shots, so that is something we have to correct.”
Lakers coach Phil Jackson: “Well, that was no surprise to us, I don’t think. To me, at least. But the outcome of that game, you know, it’s not as bad as it seems. We’re OK. We feel confident we’ll come back and give a good effort on Wednesday night . I thought we took tough shots. We fell into some of the things they wanted us to do. That’s obvious.”
Yao: “My knee feels fine, thanks for asking. There’s no need to worry about it. I just need to put ice on it. Tonight, I think my team had a great night. Everybody came out with a very active attitude. I think Ron Artest and Shane Battier did a great job guarding Kobe. Everybody played unselfish.”
Houston coach Rick Adelman: “Give our guys a lot of credit. They came in with the right attitude at the very start of the game. From the middle of the third (quarter) on, we really played well, really played well as a team. We thought we could play well. We talked about it. … We knew Kobe was going to turn it up. We knew everything.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night.