With the Houston Rockets on a 14-game winning streak and the Los Angeles Lakers down two starters, not many were giving L.A. a chance Wednesday night. But Kyle Kuzma set a new career-high, Corey Brewer lit up his former team, and the Lakers left Houston with a 122-116 win, snapping a three-game losing skid.
In his return to the starting lineup, Kuzma had things going from the beginning. He didn’t miss a shot on his way to 27 first-half points and ultimately finished with 38 to go along with seven rebounds and four assists.
He hit seven 3-pointers, knocked down 7-of-10 from the free throw line, and just had his way with whoever the Rockets threw at him.
Even with that, it was Brewer who had the most surprising performance of the night, finishing with 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting and 2-of-3 from 3-point range to go along with five rebounds and three steals.
James Harden did absoultely everything possible to keep the Rockets winning streak going. The MVP favorite scored a ridiculous 51 points and knocked down 17 of 21 at the line. Eric Gordon had 21 points off the bench and Trevor Ariza had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
But the Lakers held the Rockets to just 41.1 percent shooting and forced 14 turnovers while committing just 10. The Lakers also nearly played Houston even from the 3-point line, hitting 15 from deep compared to Houston’s 17.
Missing two starters in Brook Lopez (ankle) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (legal), Luke Walton made huge changes to the starting lineup, inserting veteran Andrew Bogut and rookie Josh Hart while also swapping in Kuzma for Larry Nance Jr.
The moves worked as the Lakers got off to a great start, leading by 10 early and by as much as 22 before the Rockets came back.
Houston was without Clint Capela and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, while Chris Paul left the game in the second half with leg soreness. Nonetheless, it was the Lakers, young and old, who came through for a big win.
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