NBA odds weren’t even giving Houston a chance in Game 4, especially with Yao Ming sidelined. The Rockets’ role players stepped up big time, and they may need a bigger effort on Tuesday in Game, in which they are sportsbook underdogs once again.
Rockets vs Lakers odds – Tuesday, May 12, 10:30 PM ET
Aaron Brooks lit up the Lakers for 34 points in a 99-87 win at home, while Shane Battier added 23 points, including five three-pointers and some great defense on Kobe Bryant. Luis Scola had 11 points and 14 boards for the Rockets, who hit 10 of their 29 three-point attempts, and outrebounded the Lakers 43-37, including 11-8 on the offensive glass. All of this helped the Rockets overcome a terrible shooting night from Ron Artest, who had eight points on 4-of-19 from the field, and he missed all six of his three-point attempts. To his credit, though, Artest helped out on Bryant, and he added 10 boards and six assists.
Bryant had a quiet night, scoring 15 points on 7-of-17 shooting, but he looked despondent as the Lakers fell behind by 18 at halftime. Pau Gasol had 30 points and nine boards for the Lakers, who made only 11 of their 18 free-throw attempts and committed a number of their 11 turnovers in the first half. Los Angeles didn’t get much from point guards Jordan Farmar and Derek Fisher, who combined to score nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. Outside of Gasol, the only Laker to show any urgency was Shannon Brown, who scored 14 off the bench to continue his fine postseason run.
NBA odds are favoring the Lakers by 12 points at home, and after Game 4, you can bet that they are going to come out with fire. The first 12 minutes are crucial to the Rockets’ chances, because just like they did at home, the Lakers are going to try and jump on them early. Bryant has his hands full being guarded by Artest and Battier, but he’s going to try and force the issue with them early in the game. This could also be a good time for Andrew Bynum to step up with Yao missing, as he had four points and six fouls in 24 minutes of action in the two games in Houston. They may need him too, whether his knee is healthy or not, as Lamar Odom went down hard in the third quarter of Game 4, and his back may not allow him to come back. Still, the home crowd will have the Lakers jazzed up, and Bryant will go into “Black Mamba” mode. Bet on the Lakers and their NBA odds on Tuesday.