While many have commented that Ron should have cooled it off instead of going after Kobe, I have to respectfully disagree.
The Lakers were trying to send a message that they are tough. The fact is they are not, and were simply rattled with the 2nd quarter comeback that a bunch of lunchpail Rocket players made. This Rocket team did not wilt, did not bow to their perceived greatness. They simply played solid basketball. So, in the third quarter, Lakers simply resorted to taking cheapshots. In the past, Kobe in particular, has done such things repeatedly when things got a bit stressful for his team, and often has gotten away with it. This time, he messed with the wrong person, and Ron simply got on his face, and called his bluff. Most players don't complain, because they think it is futile, as the league would not suspend Kobe Bryant. But, Ron Artest, has enough personality, enough game, to call Kobe out. If Ron had not done that, nobody, would have even talked about the elbow to the throat, today, and Kobe would have gotten away with another intimidation.
Now Kobe Bryant's antics in the first two games are well publicised, this puts him on a short leash, and he will be less reluctant to pull such stunts. It is important to unmask the pretty faces of Kobe/Fisher and reveal the ugly side beneath. I think Ron did a very good thing early in this series, to make that happen. He sent the message that this team is not going to back down for anybody, and as Ron Ron put it, we win fair and square, and we will lose fair and square.
The Lakers got the win that they desparately needed, but the manner in which they got it, should put some serious doubt into their heads. On the other hand, for the Rockets, they now know that they can beat the Lakers, and the Rockets second unit is just as strong as their first.
All that trash Kobe kept talking to Shane Battier who guarded him smartly, and without any evidence of malice, only made me appreciate the professionalism and class of the Rockets. Yao is another wonderful example of class. I love this Rockets team! Go Rockets..