Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers continued their tough road trip as they took on the Houston Rockets who sat at #6 in the Western Conference. After the huge win in Oklahoma, there was an unprecedented amount of hype going into this one. With hopes that the Lakers would spring another victory on the road.
James Harden was aiming to become the first player since Kobe Bryant in 2011 to record three consecutive 50 point scoring games. He ended up falling just short, racking up 48 points in this one. The Lakers started well as they looked to maintain the tempo and energy that was shown against the Thunder last time out. Kuzma scored 20 points in the first quarter alone, as the Lakers led 39-26.
The Lakers were red hot from beyond the arc knocking down three after three, with both Kuzma and Stephenson finishing the night with 4 apiece. At the end of the half, the Lakers held an impressive 18 point lead and were looking like extremely good value for money. Then in the third quarter, it all went south. Coach Luke Walton was ejected from the game for a verbal confrontation with the officials. Additionally, Lonzo Ball, who recorded 8 points and 11 assists in just 21 minutes, rolled his ankle and was forced to leave the game. X-rays have returned negative, with the injury sustained being a strain.
As the game progressed, the Rockets forged a comeback. The Lakers stayed resolute, with back-to-back road wins in their sights. Stephenson added 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, with Zubac adding 12 of his 17. Although, it was not meant to be as Eric Gordon sunk a three-pointer in the dying moments to send the game into overtime.
Despite a valiant effort to take the game in overtime, the Lakers lacked pace and committed some questionable shots which caused Houston to pull away and claim the victory, 138-134.
Kyle Kuzma: 32 points, 8 rebound, 3 assists, 63.2% FG, 4 3PM.
Brandon Ingram: 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 58.3% FG.
Ivica Zubac: 17 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 21 minutes.
Lance Stephenson: 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 50% FG, 4 3PM.
By Kwadwo ‘Kojo’ Larson (@kwadwo_l)