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.