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LAL defeats HOU to take series lead
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Kobe Bryant scored 33 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-94 victory over the Houston Rockets at the National Basketball Association playoffs second round on Friday, US local time.

The victory gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.

Lamar Odom scored 16 points with 13 rebounds and reserve point guard Jordan Farmar had 12 points and seven assists standing in for suspended Derek Fisher, who had been tossed from game two for a hard foul on Houston's Luis Scola.

There was little sign of such rough play in game three until the Rockets' Ron Artest was ejected for a hard foul on Pau Gasol in the final minute.

Artest was ejected from game two for a verbal altercation with Bryant following Bryant's elbow to Artest's upper chest.

Artest had 25 points and Yao Ming scored 19 points with 14 rebounds.

(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2009)

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