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Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010

Lakers receive rings, rally to beat Rockets

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Lakers' emotions ran high when the lights went down at Staples Center. They walked to center court one at a time, accepting a hefty championship ring before saying something heartfelt about the next teammate in line.

And the Lakers needed every bit of that family togetherness to survive the first test in a season that's sure to be full of them.

Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, newcomer Steve Blake hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds left, and Los Angeles rallied late for a 112-110 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

Pau Gasol had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who hung the golden banner celebrating their 16th NBA championship and handed out their impossibly gaudy rings in a touching pregame ceremony.

The champs then fell behind by 15 points before rallying for a fourth-quarter lead behind a 3-point barrage by Shannon Brown, who scored 14 of his 16 points in a 6 1/2-minute span.

"Getting those rings, you're definitely on a high," Brown said. "You have to come back down, because that's history. That's something nobody can take away from you ever, but it doesn't help us in the next game."

The clubs traded the lead four times in the final minute, but Houston's Luis Scola missed a difficult scoop shot with 3 seconds left. After officials used a lengthy video review to award possession of the loose ball to Houston with 2.4 seconds to play, Aaron Brooks' layup attempt at the buzzer was blocked by Lamar Odom.

"It took us a little while to settle down, to get into the game and figure out what we had to do to win it," Gasol said.

Yao Ming had nine points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 6:30 left in his first NBA game since the 2009 playoffs, also against the Lakers. The Chinese center missed last season after surgery on his left foot.

Trail Blazers 106, Suns 92

In Portland, Nicolas Batum scored 19 points, making three 3-pointers down the stretch, and had 11 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers to a season-opening victory over Phoenix.

Brandon Roy scored 24 points for the Blazers, who fell to the Suns in the first round of the playoffs last season.

Steve Nash had 26 points for the Suns, who trailed most of the first half before going ahead in the third quarter.



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