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McHale said Rockets will 'probably ' be without Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard listed as day-to-day. Obviously sat out today's workout.
Byron Scott echoed that they focused on Harden: "I don't think their last play was designed to go to Tarik Black, but we were happy it did."
Kobe said the Lakers' defensive focus was to stop Harden from attacking the basket. "We decided to give (them) the three-point shot."
Jeremy Lin on returning to Houston: "It was cool. There was emotion and stuff coming back and whatever."
Pat Beverley: “We’ve got to get better. It’s still early but we gave this one away and we’ve got to get better."
Harden said the Rockets let the game "slip away." Blamed himself. "Silly mistakes on my end. I turned the ball over."
Tarik Black on missing last field goal:“...that is just motivation to get in the gym more and continue to get better, to get my mind right."
Pat Beverley: "We simply gave it away. We gave this game away. It's that simple."
Kevin McHale on status of Dwight Howard: “No idea."
Rockets were killed on the boards. "Tough without him (Howard) and Terrence (Jones) no question," McHale said.
Kevin McHale had no updates on the severity of Dwight Howard's injury or how long he might be out.
Harden airballed the three and fans stream to the exits. Not a good loss. Rockets lose 98-92 to Lakers.
Nick Young hits two free throws - now Lakers lead 96-92.
Ball was knocked out of bounds by… looks like Ariza. Is likely going to be Lakers ball.
Rockets offense is in a world of hurt when the best they can do in crunch time is a Tarik Black post-up.
Somehow, I don't think a Tarik Black left-handed jump hook was the Rockets' first choice there.
Johnson again. Strips Harden, goes in for layup, 3-point play. Lakers up 2, 43.2 left. Johnson with five of his 9 points in final 66 secs.
Johnson steals the ball, scores a layup and and gets the foul. Hits the FT and the Lakers lead 94-92 with .43 to play.
Wow. Wesley Johnson picks Harden, goes the length of the floor and gets the bucket and foul. Bad, bad play. 94-92 Lakers, 43.2 sec left.
This place is rocking… with Lakers fans. They are seriously loud.
Bryant misses a 3 to tie, but again, the Rockets can't secure rebound. Johnson goes to the line for two fts, giving LA 23 2nd chance points.
Black fouled at the rim with 1:24 left. I think the Rockets would like to decline the penalty.
At least Steve Blake isn’t playing for the Lakers in a game this close in Houston in the 4th quarter… y’all remember that right?
Kobe being all Kobe….
Loved the crowd reaction when Kobe squared up to defend Harden 85 feet from the basket and James shook him in about 0.2 seconds.
Papanikolaou has 19 tonight - for those watching on TV, has Hubie said his name right yet?
Papanikolaou! Fast break bucket and foul, then he gets the crowd fired up. 89-84 Rockets.
There have not been many of those free throws, either. Just five in those 13 minutes.
Rockets have two points on anything but 3s or free throws in 13 minutes. They like 3s and free throws, but layups are good, too.
Living and dying by the three right now. Rockets miss three in a row, Lakers have run off 8 straight to take the lead.
While Rockets relying almost entirely on 3-point shooting, Lakers killing them on boards to score 21 second-chance points. Lakers up 1.
Jason Terry just made up for a bad floater attempt with a quick-release 3 to give the Rockets a 7-point lead.
Beverley ends a 9-0 Lakers run with a triple, then Terry knocks down one of his own and Lakers call timeout. 81-74 Rockets.
Bryant just 2 of 11 in 3rd, but leading shootout with K-Pap. Harden, however, with 13 in q. Rockets were up 10, lead 75-70 heading to 4th.
75-70 Rockets through three. Harden was 4-6 from the field for 13 points in the 3Q.
We just saw a clearout for Joey Dorsey in the post.
Harden sends the crowd into an uproar with a three, then the Rockets force a 24-sec violation. Houston up 73-65, 2:14 3Q.
Joey Dorsey replaces Tarik Black, no doubt with instructions to show on Kobe and then bust it back to Hill.
Did not expect Jordan Hill to be top scoring former Rockets player, but he hits three-straight jumpers while Rockets flock to Kobe, has 12.
Patrick Beverley's block of Jeremy Lin leads to a fast break basket for Harden. Lin with more turnovers (4) than points (3) right now.
Rockets have more 3s (9 on 19 attempts) than in any of their previous 4 games. Papanikolaou is 4 of 5. He was 0 for 12 in previous 3 games.
Papanikolaou's huge half keeps Rockets in game, and in front 51-49 at half. But Harden has to score. Has 4p, 4a. Ariza with 10, but 3 of 9.
HALF: Rockets 51, Lakers 49. Welcome back, three-point shooters: Houston 9-19 from distance tonight. Pap has 16p, Harden just 4p.
Papanikolaou has a career high 16. Kobe, Howard and Harden have combined for 15.
That's a new career-high for Kostas Papanikolaou -- 16 points. We're still in the first half. 51-47 Rockets.
I watched Papanikolaou, Harden and Canaan have a 3-point shooting contest at practice the other day. Papanikolaou won. He is 4/5 tonight.
Papanikolaou has four 3s in three different games -- and four in the other nine games combined. Something of a streaky shooter.
Kostas Papanikolaou needed this. Shooting just 28% from long range this year, he's 4-5 from distance already tonight.
Harden gets his first bucket of the game, off a break and nice pass from Beverley. Had 1 FG in Memphis on Monday.
Harden gets first points of the night- on two made free throws.
Rockets 8 of 15 on 3s. If they make 1 of next 19 will shoot better from the arc than they did in Memphis.
Not a good sign that Rockets hitting their threes (8-15) yet game is tied. Harden needs to step up, looking for first points at the stripe.
The rockets leading scorer tonight, Papanikolaou (11) is coming back in.
All tied up at 30 with 8:01 in the 2nd. James Harden has zero points.
The curse of Comcast? Ever since demise of CSN-Houston, Rockets have been basically unwatchable.
Not sure this is what ESPN had in mind. Dwight is out. Harden is 0 for 1 w 1assist. Kobe is 1 of 6. But we are seeing a lot of Papanikolaou.
23-21 Rockets after one. Dwight absence really hurting inside, but Rockets hitting some threes (5-10). Harden just 0-1, needs to get going.
James Harden finally took a shot 10 minutes into the game. A layup. Missed it. Tend to think Rockets will need more from him.
Harden blocks a Boozer shot -- his first stat of any kind more than 7 minutes into the game.
Jeremy Lin looks up and smiled when he saw that. Now he and Harden are having some friendly banter.
Rockets running a video tribute for Jeremy Lin. Crowd with applause for him when announced as he and Harden chat.
Rockets are running a Jeremy Lin tribute video during the timeout. He gets a nice reaction.
Rockets are playing a Jeremy Lin tribute on the scoreboard right now.
D-Mo has done some good things early, but once again, he has to sit early with two fouls. Put Papanikolaou on Boozer.