Battier, Brooks lead Rockets to improbable win

Battier exploded for 23 points to lead the Yao-less Rockets over the Lakers in Game 4 Sunday.

Battier exploded for 23 points to lead the Yao-less Rockets over the Lakers in Game 4 Sunday.

The Houston Rockets dominated from start to finish Sunday, routing the Lakers 99-87 to tie the series at two games apiece despite playing without Yao Ming.

Aaron Brooks dominated the Lakers guards with his quickness and long-range shooting to finish with 34 points.

But Shane Battier proved to be the biggest key to Houston’s success Sunday.

Battier gets a lot of credit for being a “glue guy”.

I don’t really buy all that act most of the time, but he flat-out produced in Game 4.

He scored 15 in the first half, connecting on four 3-pointers. He finished with 23 points in the game.

Battier’s defense helped hold Kobe to a meager 15 points in the game.

Lakers F Lamar Odom suffered a back injury after a hard fall in the third quarter. He will be re-evaluated Monday, and could miss Game 5.

Rick Adelman deserves a ton of credit for getting depleted Houston ready to play. The Lakers were sluggish from the opening tip, but the Rockets certainly earned the victory.

The only bad news for Houston was Ron Artest’s continued struggles. He finished with 8 points on 4-19 shooting.

Artest needs to drive the ball more and stop settling for jumpers – but let’s face it, that probably won’t happen.

I still like the Lakers to win the series, but Houston could push it to seven games.

Stay tuned.

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