The Los Angeles Lakers returned home on Sunday night and avenged their previous loss to the Houston Rockets, hanging on for a 105-104 victory.
The game stayed tight throughout as both teams hit big shots, especially late in the game. Austin Reaves put the Lakers up three in the final minute with a deep 3-pointer. After a pair of layups by Alperen Sengun and some missed free throws by the Lakers, the game ended up being tied in the final seconds.
It was LeBron James who went into attack mode from there, going to the basket and drawing a foul. He missed the first free throw but then took a deep breathe and made the second to put the Lakers ahead. Dillon Brooks then missed a halfcourt heave at the buzzer to end it as the Lakers improved to 8-6 on the young season.
James was spectacular on the night, leading the Lakers with 37 points to go along with six rebounds, eight assists and three steals. He was 14-for-19 from the field, going at Brooks regularly with ease as he has in the past when the two rivals have squared off.
Reaves also had a solid all-around game for the Lakers off the bench, finishing with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists on 5-of-7 shooting. He pointed to LeBron’s son Bronny, who was cheering courtside, after hitting his big 3-pointer.
The Lakers finished the game without Anthony Davis after he fouled out and it was a big loss as he was dominant in the paint all night. In 33 minutes, Davis had 27 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. He had 13 points in the third quarter alone, bring the Lakers back from a five-point halftime deficit.
Davis shot 11-for-15 as he, James and Reaves combined to shoot 30-of-41 while the rest of the Lakers were 9-of-42. Cam Reddish did come up big defensively for L.A. though with three steals despite not shooting it well.
Brooks and Sengun led the way for the Rockets as the former had a team-high 24 points while shooting 6-for-11 from beyond the arc and the latter had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Up next for the Lakers…
The Lakers will stay at home as they have a back-to-back this week. First they will host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night in their final group stage game of the NBA In-Season Tournament and then they will have their first matchup with Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
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