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Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009

Lakers booed after Rockets loss

LOS ANGELES (AP) Trevor Ariza got his NBA championship ring and his Houston Rockets got the win.

Aaron Brooks saw the ring dripping with diamonds and suddenly he was off on a career night. He took the Rockets with him, scoring a career-high 33 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 101-91 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday night, sending the Lakers to a second consecutive loss.

"That's my first time seeing an NBA ring," Brooks said. "It moved us and we played inspired basketball."

And the NBA champs? Well, they looked downright ordinary again.

The Lakers were coming off a 105-79 drubbing at Denver two nights earlier only to have another team they vanquished in last season's title run show them up at home, where they got booed.

"Defensively, we need to step it up," Andrew Bynum said. "That's what we're lacking right now. We got guards trying to box out bigs. Bigs trying to box out guards. We're all over the place right now."

The Lakers have three losses already, something that didn't happen last season until Dec. 9.

"Mortified," Kobe Bryant deadpanned. "We'll get better, we know what's at stake. We'll figure our way through this."

David Andersen added a career-high 19 for the Rockets, who lost 103-102 at home in overtime in the teams' first meeting earlier this month.

Bryant scored 41 points in that game, but he had just 18 Sunday after aggravating a groin injury in the first quarter that he sustained a week ago against New Orleans.

"I've felt better," he said. "It'll be all right. I've been nursing it, kind of playing through it."

Even though the injury affects Bryant's ability to run and change direction on a dime, he said, "You know I don't make excuses."

Suns 101, Raptors 100

In Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire followed one of the worst games of his career with his best game of the season, scoring 30 points to lead the Suns over Toronto.

Mavericks 95, Pistons 90

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and Rodrique Beaubois added 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting to help Dallas beat Detroit.

Clippers 101, Thunder 93

In Oklahoma City, Baron Davis scored 24 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, to help the Clippers end a three-game losing streak.

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