Lakers win third straight after blowing out Rockets in Houston

Lakers are now two games above .500 at 40-38 and back at the 7th seed in the West.

The Lakers took care of business. As they should’ve been doing all along.

L.A. went into Houston and blew out the Rockets, 134-109, in a game that had a couple of anxious moments but was really a dominant performance from the Lakers.

Anthony Davis did some early damage first, outscoring the Rockets himself, 11-10. Then Rui Hachimura came in and made an immediate impact as he was key in the closing 13-2 run at the end of the first quarter to go up, 35-21.

Hachimura, Davis, and Austin Reaves poured it on, bringing the lead to 18 points. The skittish Rockets would make a few runs here and there but the Lakers would always counter. Still, Davis dominated the first half with 27 points as they brought a 10-point lead into the break.

The Rockets did score the first two baskets in the third quarter and I’m sure most Laker fans were prepared for the usual third period letdown. But Davis continued to wreck, Hachimura returned to get more buckets, and Malik Beasley made a couple of timely threes. This would carry over to the fourth quarter and the lead ballooned to 27 points. There was really nothing the Rockets could do as the Lakers cruised to a rare easy win.

The Lakers jumped on the Rockets and never looked back. The Rockets scoring first prevented it from being a wire-to-wire victory for the Lakers. Granted, it’s the Houston Rockets and they’re a bad NBA team but remember that this Laker team lost to the same Rockets team last March 15th. So what if they didn’t have Anthony Davis and LeBron James? It was still a very capable and talented team that could beat a young and inexperienced Houston squad.

There isn’t much to analyze here but if we must look at statistics, here ya go. Lakers only turned the ball over 5 times. They scored early and often; it was 35-21 after one quarter. Lakers were +7 in rebounds. They also had 13 more assists than the Rockets. Lakers getting to the line (28 attempts to 10) cancelled out the Rockets’ not-so-big three-point advantage (Houston made 13 threes while the Lakers made 9).

But we did get an overwhelming performance from Anthony Davis, who went for 40 points and 9 boards. LeBron James had a triple-double (18-10-11) and that was his 107th career trip-dub, which ties Jason Kidd for 4th most in NBA history. Rui Hachimura was great off the bench as he went for 20 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks. And Austin Reaves was fantastic again with 18 points and 8 assists.

The only negative here was D’Angelo Russell not playing in the second half due to a sore foot. These injuries are starting to concern me and hopefully, this will be nothing in the coming few days.

The Rockets were led by Jalen Green with 24 points but he still shot 7 for 21 (.333). Kevin Porter, Jr. went for 20 points. Alperen Şengün, who is arguably their most impactful player, had 18 points, 15 boards, 5 assists, three blocks, and two steals. He’s going to be something in the future.

With the Wolves, Jazz, and the Mavs losing, the planets seem to be aligning for the Lakers. They are currently in 7th place in the West with a 40-38 record (first time they are two games above .500). They do have a back-to-back coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday and it’s something that we’re all watching because we wonder if Anthony Davis is going to play both games.

Either way, the Lakers are in their best position since the season started. If they keep the momentum going, they might make the playoffs outright. Who would’ve thought?

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