Saddle up for Texas

The Lakers were in no mood to celebrate their 118-78 victory tonight over the Houston Rockets in Game 5 at Staples Center. They were already looking forward to Game 6 on Thursday in Houston, when they can eliminate the Rockets with the victory and advance to play the winner of the Denver Nuggets-Dallas Mavericks second-round series.

Kobe Bryant, who scored 26 points, said:

“You’ve just got to stay focused and you have to understand that the effort that we had tonight is not going to be enough on Thursday night. It’s just not. So, you’ve got to pick it up and bring more energy, bring more effort because that’s what the playoffs are about.”

Lamar Odom, who had 10 points and six rebounds despite playing with a bruised back, said:

“We can’t get on our high horse. We have to put this game behind us. It was fun. … I think we can always do it (play as well as they did). … Teams look forward to playing one of the best teams in the league, especially our brand. We know the world is watching.”

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