The Los Angeles Lakers kept things rolling on their road trip, overwhelming the Houston Rockets with a 134-109 victory.
D’Angelo Russell kicked things off with a corner 3, while LeBron James and Anthony Davis followed it up with baskets in the paint to give the Lakers the early 8-5 lead. Houston had no answers for Davis, who terrorized the key which allowed Los Angeles to go up 20-10 halfway through the period.
The Lakers faced almost no resistance when it came to attacking the painted area, so though the Rockets started to hit shots they still maintained an eight-point lead. Rui Hachimura was the recipient of a couple of passes from James that he turned into dunks and the Lakers went into the second leading 35-21.
Hachimura erased a dunk attempt at the top of the quarter, while Austin Reaves scored six quick points to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 17. Alperen Sengun tried his best to get the Rockets back into the game, but the Lakers simply took advantage of their poor transition defense to build a 57-41 advantage.
Houston showed off their athleticism on their fastbreak opportunities, though they still couldn’t handle Davis in the post. Offensive rebounding was an issue for the Lakers as the Rockets earned multiple second-chance opportunities, and as a result, L.A. went into the half only leading 70-60.
The Lakers announced D’Angelo Russell was ruled out for the remainder of the game due to right foot soreness.
It was an sluggish start to the second half for Los Angeles as they failed to get any 3s to go down, while Houston got easy scores to trim the lead to just six. Fortunately, the Lakers were able to restore some balance as they managed to build their lead back up to 11.
Hachimura and Davis did well to put pressure on the Rockets defense, bullying their way for good looks. James made up for a missed layup with a dunk near the end of the quarter, helping L.A take a 101-83 lead into the fourth.
Hachimura continued to dominate both ends of the floor, picking up a block and then scoring on a layup to push L.A.’s lead to 22. Darvin Ham opted to sub out James with more than eight minutes left in the final quarter, though the bench did well to keep the momentum well on their side.
With such a commanding lead, the Lakers pulled their key rotation guys and walked away with another solid win. Davis wound up finishing with 40 points after scoring 38 in the previous two.
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