Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Rockets- Game 65

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (28-37) | Houston Rockets (17-49)

 

The Lakers lost control of the game in OT, allowing the Rockets to take over in the 139-130 loss.

 

Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: David J. Phillip/AP

It was a night of offense at Toyota Center last night. Unfortunately for the Lakers, it didn’t come at the right time.

The Lakers got it started on a 6-0 run, with Malik Monk proving his hops once again on a throwdown.  Austin Reaves got the start again, only seeing two minutes before Frank Vogel brought in Avery BradleyBradley would immediately lead a 10-2 run for Los Angeles, scoring 5 points with one three.  Jalen Green and Eric Gordon started to crack the Laker defense, with Gordon crossing up LBJ.

James was more laid back than usual in the first only posting 4 points.  This allowed D.J. Augustin and Carmelo Anthony to get more shots off the bench, combining for 15 points in the quarter.  Augustin had the motivation to show up against his former team, going 3-3 on the field, and sending the Lakers up 6 into the second.

Westbrook padded to the lead with a three to start the quarter, before the Rockets went on a 13-3 to take the lead.  Once again, the Laker defense lacked the strength to stop drive heavy players, with Green getting a couple of highlight dunks before the break.

Credit should be given to Russ in the first half, stepping up as the leader on offense.  He kept the Rockets from pulling away even more with 17 points on 6-9 shooting.  The Rockets went on another run before halftime until Reaves shut it down with a three.  Josh Cristopher doesn’t get a lot of attention off the Rockets bench, but 14 first-half points on 6-8 shooting had them ahead.

One positive note that comes with the current Laker alignment, is the rebound game.  They work well in that department with James at center, but 12 first-half turnovers kept them wasting possessions.  They looked to hustle more on defense in the second half as well, hoping to save themselves from embarrassment with a loss to Houston.

The Lakers had a great first-half performance by Westbrook, but they needed more from others in the second half down 68-63.

 

Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: David J. Phillip/AP

The Rockets held the lead for a short while to start the second half before Monk led a 9-2 run to tie it back up.  The game was back and forth in the third, with James already reaching a triple-double. He would finish the night with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists.  D.J. Augustin hit one last tough shot, shocking the Rockets to put them up 1 heading into the fourth.

Josh Christopher continued his heroics last night, starting the fourth with a go-ahead three.  This was one of those quarters that contained another example of how weak the Laker defense is right now.  After 13 lead changes, strong offense by Monk and Westbrook were put aside by lackluster defense.  The Lakers had a small lead with just over 2 minutes to play.

The Rockets approached this as an opportunity to allow Jalen Green to take charge.  The youngster did exactly that, scoring two straight buckets to give them the lead.  Westbrook would tie it up, finishing the night with 30 points.  What could have been the final possession for the Lakers, ended with Carmelo Anthony missing the three to send it to OT.  He has been their go-to guy in terms of last shot rights, but the results just haven’t been there.

Jalen Green would continue his dominance to start OT, leading a 10-0 run out of the gates on 7 points.  He had just 18 with two minutes left in the fourth but stepped up with 32 by the game’s end.  The Lakers couldn’t mount any momentum in crucial time, leading to their second straight loss.

 

The Lakers welcome the Washington Wizards into town Friday, the game can be seen at 7:30 on Spectrum.          

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Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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