Top 5 Matchups: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

The Los Angeles Lakers will face the Houston Rockets tonight, a team in which they almost sent Pau Gasol to in the nixed Chris Paul trade. However, the Lakers and Rockets have a history of facing each other in some thrilling games filled with buzzer beaters and playoff elimination games. We will take a look at some of the best between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

5.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets
1981-1st Round Playoff Match-up

The Lakers were the defending NBA champions, represented by the dynamic duo of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Rockets were coming in with a losing record, 40-42, but were led by Moses Malone. The match-up between the two big men was one to watch. At this time, the first round of the NBA playoffs were a best out of three series, unlike today where it is a best out of seven. So the first team to win two games would advance, which gave the Rockets a chance, but came into the series with no real expectation to knock off the defending champion Lakers. Unfortunately for all Laker fans, the Rockets would pull off the upset and actually used their momentum to reach the NBA Finals.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW4r-Ifp6M4&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLA5D754ECE8524D7F
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4.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets
2004-1st Round Playoff Match-up
Game 1

The Los Angeles Lakers had added two future hall of fame players, Karl Malone and Gary Payton, to their already impressive roster, while the Houston Rockets were led by Steve Francis and Yao Ming. The two teams squared off in the first round of the 2004 playoffs, and Game 1 went down to the wire. The Lakers were down by a single point with less than a minute remaining, but with the shot clock expiring Kobe Bryant fired a three that was caught by Shaquille O’Neal and hammered home. O’Neal was fouled in the process as well. The Rockets would have one last shot, but to no avail, the Lakers would go on to win Game 1.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95121hHTqbI

Next: A Fight to the Finish

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