Jackson re-inserted Andrew Bynum into the starting lineup Tuesday night, and Bynum and Pau Gasol combined to punish the Rockets inside.
With Bynum and Gasol clicking on the inside and Kobe Bryant in Mamba mode (20 first half points), the Lakers pretty much had this game wrapped up by the halftime buzzer en route to a 118-78 laugher. It was basically an ultimate reversal of the results in Game 4, complete with Sasha Vujacic breakaway dunks and Jordan Farmer 35 foot buzzer beaters.
Lakers Lead 3-2 | Next Game: Thursday @ Houston, 9:30 PM ET
In Game 4, the Rockets dismantled the Lakers with timely three point shooting and superstar play from second year guard Aaron Brooks. However, Tuesday the Lakers were able to neutralize both. Brooks finished with 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting, while the Rockets only shot 17 percent from three-point land.
The general consensus will likely now be that the Lakers will close out the series in Houston. Hopefully the Lakers have learned their lesson and realize that the Rockets are not to be taken lightly. As Jackson stated in his post-game press conference, he knows the Rockets are going to play better at home. The Rockets just have way too much pride to give up without a fight.
No matter what the outcome of this series, you have to give this Rockets a ton of credit. The team has no one playing over 6-foot-10 against a team stacked with All-Star level bigs. Most teams would have folded after the loss of their two best players, but Rockets gave the Lakers the beating of a lifetime in Game 4.
If the Lakers end up winning the championship, they really might have to thank the Rockets for showing them that they can't just waltz their way to an NBA championship. The Lakers just might have picked up a thing or two from the Rockets about heart and hustle.