The Houston Rockets defeated the LeBron-less LA Lakers without too much trouble, keeping themselves in the race for the third place in the Western Conference. The final result of this match was 113-97 for the boys from Texas.
Apart from not seeing James in this one, the Rockets had problems of their own with absent players, as Russell Westbrook skipped this event. The former MVP didn’t play because of his issues with right quadriceps, and James due to a right knee groin.
The Rockets were leading almost throughout the entire match. After pulling away to seven points in the late stage of the first quarter, they got up 16 points in the second, indicating that they aren’t going to miss the chance to take down purple and gold.
The late part of the third saw them getting away to 18 points, 91-73, but the Lakers came back in early in the final frame, preventing the rivals from scoring for the opening five minutes of the period.
However, and 11-0 run created by Mike D’Antoni’s guys saw the Rockets solving this match in their favor, and routinely closing the contest.
James Harden was two rebounds short of reaching a triple-double, as the delivered 39 points, 12 dimes and 8 boards, hitting all of his 12 free throws and adding five threes. Once again, he had a solid defensive role, proving that he might have worked on that during the pause.
Ben McLemore also hit five threes, totaling for 20 points, having four rebounds as well, while Jeff Green scored 15 buckets. Danuel House added 14.
Even though the Rockets had just 34 boards, they compensated that with 21 three-pointers, while on the other side, the Lakers hit only two long-range shots.
39 PTS | 8 REB | 12 AST | 3 STL | 5 3PM pic.twitter.com/sPeSDEeiG2
— NBA (@NBA) August 7, 2020
Without LeBron in the lineup, Kyle Kuzma took over the scoring duties, and had a team-high with 21 points and 5 boards. Anthony Davis posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 boards, shooting 5-for-8 from the field.
Three players had 10 points, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Lakers are 51-17 and are first in the West. After this one, they have a clash with the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, and the Denver Nuggets afterward.
Meanwhile, the Rockets are facing the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, as they chase the No.3 seed in the West. The Nuggets lost to Portland Trail Blazers tonight, making things very interesting.