Playing back-to-back games against one team isn’t uncommon in the NBA, but both taking place in the same home arena is a bit different. Yet that will be the case here as the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Houston Rockets for the second consecutive game on Tuesday night, looking for their third straight win.
The story of the first game was defense as the Lakers forced 25 Houston turnovers and held the Rockets to just 85 points overall. This helped to offset the team’s offensive performance as the Lakers were actually outshot by the Rockets 42.1% to 40.6%, but it didn’t matter as the Lakers had 20 more shots overall.
The combination of Avery Bradley and Kent Bazemore have been giving opposing backcourts fits as of late and Frank Vogel will be looking for more of the same.
One major question coming into the contest is the status of LeBron James, who is being listed as questionable on the Lakers’ official injury report due to his ankle. But if LeBron himself is to be believed, he will definitely be suiting up for the game:
Man can’t wait to hoop again tomorrow night
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 2, 2021
James will surely like to get his shooting stroke back in order as he was 0-for-6 on Sunday and 1-for-16 since returning from that ankle injury. But despite his shooting issues, James has remained practically unstoppable going to the basket and would love to replicate his performance in other areas as he had eight assists, four steals and just two turnovers.
As a matter of fact, the entire team would like to replicate that level of taking care of the ball as the Lakers turned it over just 12 times, including four combined from James and Russell Westbrook. One area the Lakers will need to improve this time around is the fouling.
The Lakers committed 20 fouls on the night leading to 29 Rockets free throw attempts. While they made just 15 of those, the game could have been different had they been more accurate from the foul line.
Carmelo Anthony will once again be key for the Lakers as he has been the team’s most consistent offensive weapon over the last couple of contests. He has scored at least 23 points in three of the last five games and has been absolutely scorching hot from 3-point range.
L.A. is without Dwight Howard for a second consecutive game due to a minor neck injury, so they are going with the smaller starting lineup including Avery Bradley once again.
The Lakers are clearly the superior team and should be able to come away with another easy victory, but the team has had some issues holding on to leads. If they do jump out ahead once again, all eyes will be on the Lakers to see if they can keep the distance between them and their opponent.
Lakers (4-3) vs. Rockets (1-5)
7:30 p.m. PT, November 2, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Kent Bazemore
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, DeAndre Jordan, Austin Reaves
Projected Rockets Starting Lineup:
PG: Jalen Green
SG: Kevin Porter Jr.
SF: Jaesean Tate
PF: Christian Wood
C: Daniel Theis
Key Reserves: Alperen Sengun, Eric Gordon, David Nwaba, Kenyon Martin Jr., Armoni Brooks
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