The Los Angeles Lakers are above .500 for the first time this season at 4-3 after a 95-85 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night, which included a balanced scoring effort and strong defense.
Carmelo Anthony once again led the Lakers in scoring off the bench with 23 points on an efficient 8-of-14 shooting (5-of-8 from three). Anthony also had his best defensive performance in a Laker uniform, tying a career-high with four blocks to go along with a pair of steals.
Russell Westbrook was in attack mode all night long for L.A., falling just short of a triple-double with 20 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. He also had the highest plus-minus on the team by far at +25.
It was a poor shooting night for LeBron James, but he still finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Including in that was a couple of highlight dunks as James continues to show he’s found the fountain of youth in the 19th season of his career.
Anthony Davis was also quiet offensively, finishing with 16 points although he added 13 rebounds in his first game starting at center this season. The Lakers’ lineup change, inserting Avery Bradley and going small, worked just as they had hoped as they held the Rockets to just 85 points, which is a season-best for L.A.’s defense.
With the Lakers going small, DeAndre Jordan came off the bench in Dwight Howard’s absence and actually turned in a solid effort with eight points, three rebounds and two assists on 4-of-4 shooting in 17 minutes.
The Lakers led by as many as 25 in this one and although the Rockets made a run in the fourth quarter, they never got within single digits as L.A. cruised to victory on Halloween night.
Up next for the Lakers…
The Lakers continue the easy part of their schedule as they again host the Rockets on Tuesday night at Staples Center. They then finish out the week by hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday and traveling to take on the Portland Trail Blazer on Saturday.
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