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Lakers
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Game Preview: Lakers vs Rockets – Round 2 – Game 3

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(#1) Los Angeles Lakers (5-2) | (#4) Houston Rockets (5-4)

 

After splitting the first two games, the Lakers will look to take a 2-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets.

 

Just like in the first round, the Los Angeles Lakers dropped the opening game in this series as well against Houston. Also, like the first series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles was able to bounce back with the win the tie up the series.

 

Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers went on to win four consecutive games to advance into the next round. However, it seems like it might not be that easy for the Lake Show this time around.

The Rockets came out aggressive to start Game 1 in their upset victory, with big numbers from their star players. James Harden scored in 36 points in 34 minutes. Russell Westbrook posted a near double-double of 24 points and nine rebounds. Eric Gordon even had himself a good game, going for 23 points on 7-14 (50%) shooting.

As for Los Angeles, they seemed to struggle quite a bit as a whole when it came to scoring. Anthony Davis had a decent game with 25 points and 14 rebounds. LeBron James scored 20 points but failed to score any in the fourth quarter when it mattered most. Except for the fan-favorite Alex Caruso, who scored a surprising 14 points off the bench, the rest of the team struggled to get the ball in the basket.

Perhaps it was the fact that Houston was still riding on momentum after just rallying to narrowly escape and defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games in the first round. At the same time, the Lakers had some time to rest after taking care of business in five games, possibly leading to some rust. But then again, some say Game 1 is always like the feel-out game.

 

Things were definitely different for the Lakers in Game 2, with an improved balanced scoring attack.

 

Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

Davis had himself a monster game with 34 points and ten rebounds. James had a near triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and nine rebounds. This time around, they received some help from more players off the bench. Markieff Morris scored 16 points on 6-8 (75%) shooting. Kyle Kuzma also bounced back with an impressive 13 points on 6-7 (85.7%) shooting. Even Rajon Rondo is continuing to find his rhythm in his second game back from injury with 10 points and nine assists.

For the Rockets, Harden still did his thing with 27 points on 6-12 (50%) shooting. Gordon also continued to have his shooting touch with 24 points, while going 8-16 (50%) from the floor. Westbrook proved to be the difference-maker in this one as he struggled incredibly compared to the previous game. He managed to record 10 points and 13 rebounds still but struggled from the floor with 4-15 (26%) shooting and committing five fouls.

Los Angeles won due to their offensive prowess, but there is still room for improvement on defense, especially at the three-point line. Despite losing, Houston still had a massive collection of points from its role players. PJ Tucker had 18, Robert Covington had 17, and Daniel House had 13.

 

 

Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

The Lakers will have to keep their momentum going and continue to find ways to get the ball in the basket. Davis should take advantage of Houston’s lack of a center on their roster and dominate in the paint. From there, the rest of the team will work from their inside-outside game. If they start with that, things will begin to open up for them, which will lead to more open three-pointers.

On defense, they will need to work on their communication and rotations because they need to make some adjustments to slow down the Rockets’ offensive attack.

Side note: the Lakers got the win in the black snakeskin Kobe Bryant Lore Series uniforms. They are now 2-0 when playing in these uniforms in this postseason.

 

 

The Lakers play against Houston in Game 3 tonight, Tuesday, Sep. 8, at 6 pm. You can watch the game on TNT and Spectrum SportsNet.

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-Isaiah Torres – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter- Isaiah_Torres24

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