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Lakers evens up series with Rockets
Updated: 2009-05-07 15:32

LOS ANGELES -- 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 Western Conference semi-final series at 1-1.

Lakers evens up series with Rockets
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives to the basket past Houston Rockets forward Shane Battier and Ron Artest during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff game in Los Angeles, May 6, 2009. [Agencies]

Stung by their surprise 100-92 homecourt loss on Monday, the Lakers shrugged off a spirited Rockets display in the second quarter with Bryant the best player of the night in a heated contest.

Spanish forward Pau Gasol contributed 22 points and 14 rebounds while veteran guard Derek Fisher weighed in with 12 as the Lakers took control after half-time at a packed Staples Center.

Houston forward Ron Artest top-scored for the visitors with 25 points, Yao Ming finished with 12 and Carl Landry came off the bench to register a career playoff-high 21 points and 10 rebounds.

However Game Two in the best-of-seven series was a turbulent affair and Fisher and Artest were both ejected while referee Joey Crawford also issued five technical fouls.

Game Three is in Houston on Friday.

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