The AP reports: Although the Rockets absorbed some hits and shed the most blood, they outmuscled the Los Angeles Lakers 100-92 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Monday night. Yao had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Ron Artest added 21 points and Aaron Brooks had 19 for the Rockets, who are in the second round for the first time since 1997… Bryant, who finished a distant second to LeBron James in NBA MVP voting announced earlier Monday, scored 32 points, doing his best to keep the Lakers in the game despite missing practice on Sunday with a sore throat. He scored 22 of the Lakers’ final 42 points.

Live fan discussion of this game took place in this forum topic.