Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lazarus has nothing on the Rockets

Aaron Brooks danced about the middle of the floor, his red-hot right hand raised and held above his head as the 18,313 at Toyota Center roared at levels they have rarely reached before.

Brooks had just thrown himself hard to the court in pursuit of a loose ball, tearing it away from Trevor Ariza before getting up to nail a 3-pointer for a 27-point Rockets lead that inspired even Phil Jackson to halt things with a timeout, the only way the Lakers could stop the Rockets all afternoon.

Reeling hours earlier from the loss of center Yao Ming for the season, the Rockets took it out on the Lakers, dominating the game from the start to take a stunning 99-87 win to send the Western Conference semifinals back to Los Angeles tied two games apiece.

Whatever else they do or don't accomplish this season, the Rockets have already earned -- with their Game 1 upset in LA, and this win without Yao today -- an A-plus in determination, heart, and guts.

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