The Lakers and Rockets are set to due battle in an all-important game four this afternoon at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The big game is set to tip off at 3:30pm ET and will be broadcast live on ABC.
2009 NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets Game 4 at Bodog.com have the LA Lakers listed as a -300 moneyline favorite. The game total is set at 194.
The Rockets played a physical brand of basketball in Game 1 that proved to be too much for the Lakers to handle. The quickness of the Houston guards on the offensive end and their ability to feed Yao in the post led to an almost perfect inside out game that Los Angeles was not able to counter. That, combined with a tough, in-your-face brand of defense led to a surprising Houston road win.
Los Angeles, however, showed some physicality of their own in Game 2. The Lakers took the fight to the Rockets on the offensive end and Kobe Bryant used every trick in his arsenal to get into the Rockets' collective heads. The strategy paid off as LA evened the series with a 111-98 win.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers took a 2-1 lead during game 3 last Friday, with a 108-94 victory over the Houston Rockets. Bryant scored 33 points and sank a 33-footer just before the end of the third quarter to put the Lakers up by 12. Bryant mentioned, "I'm just doing what I do best, just challenging other teams to try to do something with me. We, as a team, play off of that. It's on me to be aggressive."
LA was 5-1 versus the Rockets entering Friday night's game. Houston was 33-8 at the Toyota Center in regular season (did not lose back to back home games in a home stand all season long).
Los Angeles Lakers -6 1/2 (-110), Over 194 (-110), -300 (Moneyline)
Houston Rockets +6 1/2 (-110), Under 194 (-110), +250 (Moneyline)