Rockets Take Down Lakers in Seesaw Finale

Houston wins season opener, 95-93, on Battier's longball
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2007 4:02 AM CDT
Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady dunks the ball over Los Angeles Lakers' Luke Walton during the first half of a basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kobe Bryant put up 45 points, nearly half of the Lakers' total, in last night's season opener against the Rockets, but a late fourth-quarter showdown went in Houston's favor for a final score of 95-93. Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming combined for 55 points, but it was Shane Battier who sank the critical last-second three-pointer, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The Lakers, greeted with boos brought on by Kobe's trade talk, surged in the first quarter but fell into a tie by the half. The Rockets dominated the third quarter, but a 10-point rally by Los Angeles tied the game with 13.9 seconds remaining. From "basically in Phil Jackson's lap," Battier lobbed a long three for a dramatic finish.