The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back and defeated the Houston Rockets, 124-115.
The Rockets came out aggressive to start the game as their All-Star backcourt of James Harden and Russell Westbrook took their turns dicing up the Lakers defense. Meanwhile, Los Angeles was able to generate some solid looks from the perimeter but failed to convert on them.
Clint Capela was able to ignite the Rockets transition game after coming up on a couple of blocks in the lane, extending their lead midway through the quarter. Needing some scoring punch, Quinn Cook looked for his shot early and hit a few jumpers but Los Angeles still found themselves down 34-27 at the end of the first quarter.
Westbrook looked to attack the teeth of the Lakers defense to begin the second quarter as he found success forcing his way to the rim on several possessions. LeBron James also finally got going, barreling his way to the basket and earning and-one opportunities in the process.
Houston did a good job of moving the ball side to side to get open looks for corner threes while Harden got any look he wanted on the offensive end. Danny Green was able to knock down a three to narrow the deficit, but the Lakers went into halftime trailing 65-59.
It was a ragged beginning to the third quarter as both teams seemed frustrated with how the game was being officiated. However, Los Angeles fed off of JaVale McGee‘s rim protection and were able to take a lead after James finished a tough layup in transition.
Kyle Kuzma finally found some offensive rhythm as he was able to knife into the lane for a hook shot and earned trips to the free-throw line to extend the Lakers lead. Even with James off the floor, Los Angeles bench still played hard and made shots which helped them go into the final quarter up 91-82.
The purple and gold brought it to the Rockets to start the fourth as they swarmed defensively and hunted for favorable matchups in order to keep the pressure going. Kuzma continued his hot shooting from the field, hitting a pair of threes to keep the Lakers lead in double digits.
Houston went small to try and grease their offense, but head coach Frank Vogel and the Lakers responded by trotting out their own small-ball lineup which allowed them to switch defensively. James and Los Angeles were able to hit enough shots down the stretch to keep Houston at bay and they walked out with an impressive win.