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2/17/2003 - Houston Chronicle
Experienced Rice returns to action
2/17/2003 - Houston Chronicle
Rockets run out of gas
2/17/2003 - Houston Chronicle
Absence of Shaq disappointing to a true competitor like Yao
Double OT Downer
Thrilling game sees Yao, Rockets on losing end to Kobe, Lakers
By Clutch
The Rockets had no answer for the hot streak of Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers guard scored 52 points, grabbed 8 boards and dished 7 assists to help LA beat the Rockets 106-99 in a thrilling double overtime contest Tuesday night.

Ironically the Rockets had no business forcing the game in to overtime, then easily should have won in the first extra period.

The Rockets trailed by 12 points midway through the fourth quarter in Los Angeles and, led by Mo Taylor, used a gutsy 11-0 run to come back. Yao Ming (24 points, 14 boards - 8 offensive) hit two clutch free throws with 8 seconds left that sent the game in to overtime. In overtime, the Rockets had a 2-point edge and inbounded the ball with 29 seconds left, but a ticky-tack offensive foul was called on Yao (his sixth), LA scored and without Yao in the paint, went on to cruise in the second overtime.

Steve Francis had one of the worst shooting nights of his career, missing 15 of his first 18 shots.

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