Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 40 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 111-98 on Wednesday and level their NBA Western Conference semi-final series at 1-1.
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (L) drives the ball during Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff game against Houston Rockets in Los Angeles, May 6, 2009. Los Angeles Lakers won 111-98.[Xinhua]
Spanish forward Pau Gasol contributed 22 points and 14 rebounds while veteran guard Derek Fisher chipped in with 12 before being ejected for elbowing Rockets forward Lius Scola.
Houston forward Ron Artest top-scored for the visitors with 25 points, Yao Ming was bound to the bench most of the time for foul troubles and finished with only 12.
Carl Landry came off the bench to register a career playoff-high 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Game Two in the best-of-seven series turned out to be a turbulent affair as Lakers just choked up by Game One loss and were determined to seek a revenge on home court.
Fisher and Artest were both ejected while referee Joey Crawford also issued five technical fouls.
Game Three is in Houston on Friday.