Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
NBA: Thursday, February 6, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, 10:30 PM ET
The Houston Rockets are in a fine form lately as they won five of the previous seven games, including the last three at home. Following a comfortable win over the Charlotte Hornets, the Rockets improved to a 32-18 record and are in the 5th place in the Western Conference.
The Los Angeles Lakers responded to a two-game losing run with a pair of victories over the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers are still at the top of the Western Conference with a 38-11 record; three wins ahead of the city rival Clippers and Denver Nuggets.
These conference rivals met once this season, and the Lakers secured a 124-115 win in Houston.
The Rockets scored 20 triples in a win over the HornetsHouston trailed by 12 points after the opening quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at home, but bounced back with 40 points in the second quarter and hit 20 three-pointers to secure a 125-110 win. The Rockets lost the rebounding battle (41-53) as Mike D'Antoni opted for a smaller lineup. However, Houston forced 17 turnovers and committed only four on the other end, and had 11 steals opposite Charlotte's two. James Harden nearly recorded a triple-double as he finished the tilt with 40 points, game-high 12 assists, and nine rebounds, along with three steals. Danuel House added 22 points, nine boards, and three thefts. Eric Gordon scored 16 points, Ben McLemore had 14, while P.J. Tucker posted a double-double of 13 points and team-high ten rebounds, with three steals. Houston traded center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks and got forward Robert Covington from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a four-team deal. Nene and Gerald Green also left the Rockets. Russell Westbrook (thumb) is questionable to face the Lakers on Thursday.
"Guys are out with injuries, next guy has the opportunity to step up and play well," Harden said. "And obviously, I think everyone played well tonight, not just offensively but defensively, being in the right spots."
This season, the Rockets have the 2nd offense in the NBA that averages 118.8 points per game, and they are facing the Lakers' 6th defense that allows 106.8 points per contest. The Rockets are the 6th in rebounds with 46.3 and 28th in assists with 21.6 per game.
The Lakers dismantled the Spurs at homeLos Angeles produced one of the best offensive displays of the campaign in a 129-102 home victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers played excellent defense in the first half, allowing only 41 points to the Spurs, while the hosts scored 78 points in the second 24 minutes. Frank Vogel's side made 58.8% of shots and destroyed the Spurs under the rims with 30 more rebounds (58-28). LeBron James led the Lakers with 36 points, game-high nine assists, and seven rebounds. Kyle Kuzma recorded a double-double of 18 points and game-high 12 boards, Anthony Davis chipped in with 18 points and five rebounds, while Dwight Howard had a double-double of 12 points and ten boards.
"That's what we're all about," James said. "Our team, anytime anyone is having success in the game, we cheer like it's our own. So having that camaraderie, having that brotherhood, even though they're beating you up, it's just a pretty cool feeling."
This season, the Lakers have the 7th offense in the NBA that averages 114.3 points per game, and they are facing the Rockets' 23rd defense that allows 114.5 points per contest.