May 13, 2009

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers 118, Houston 78

Kobe Bryant had 26 points Tuesday and the Los Angeles Lakers routed Houston 118-78 to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Pau Gasol finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, Andrew Bynum scored 14 and Lamar Odom -- whose status had been questionable due to a back injury -- scored 10 and pulled down six rebounds for the Lakers, who can advance to the conference finals with a victory Thursday in Game 6 at Houston.

The Lakers rebounded from a one-sided loss in Houston Sunday, when Aaron Brooks scored 34 points and Shane Battier scored 23. In Tuesday's contest, the Lakers held Brooks to a Rockets-high 14 points and Battier managed only five.

Luis Scola finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who tied the record for the worst loss in franchise history. Houston fell to Dallas by 40 points in the 2005 post-season.

The Rockets suffered from a cold shooting hand Tuesday, connecting on 5-of-29 3-point shots and shooting just 32.6 percent from the field.