The short-handed Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Houston Wednesday night to take on the Rockets, with Los Angeles looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
Without three of the team’s top guards, D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young and Jose Calderon, head coach Luke Walton decided to start Jordan Clarkson and Marcelo Huertas in the backcourt.
As has become a theme so far this season, the Lakers go off to a slow start. Taking advantage of turnovers, the Rockets jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter.
Lou Williams, who remained in his bench role despite all the injuries, provided a spark off the bench once again for the Lakers in the first half.
Williams scored 40 and 38 points, respectively in the team’s last two games, and that groove carried into Wednesday’s game. Beginning the night as the NBA’s leading bench scorer (18.4 points per game), Williams led the Lakers with 17 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting.
Three of those points came just before halftime, as with his team trailing, 67-52, and just over a second left.
Williams launched a shot from beyond half court that miraculously went in, via the team’s official Twitter account:
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 8, 2016
The shot cut the deficit to 12 at halftime, which was a bit of a moral victory for Los Angeles, considering they trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half.
The Lakers were blown out in the second half, extending their losing streak to four games. They now return home for a pair of contests before hitting the road for a seven-game stretch.