Both teams from last year’s NBA Finals couldn’t close the book on their respective conference semifinal opponents. The Lakers, fresh off of drubbing the Rockets by 40 points on Tuesday night, found themselves trailing the Rockets for most of the game behind more clutch shooting from Aaron Brooks and a fine defensive effort from Shane Battier, limiting Kobe to 11-for-27 shooting from the field. If you don’t like Aaron Brooks right now, you have no soul. The Rockets prevailed, 95-80, to tie their series at 3-3.
“They all have the same mentality, they all fight for everything that they get,” Bryant said of the Rockets. “That’s why we’re in the position that we’re in right now. They don’t quit. So Game 7 is going to be exciting.”
The winner will play the Denver Nuggets, who finished off Dallas on Wednesday night and now have a few extra days to rest.
Also forcing a Game 7: the Orlando Magic, who managed to put aside their differences long enough to beat Boston last night, 83-75. Dwight Howard finished with 23 points and 22 rebounds and Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy still resembles a popular adult film star.