NBA: Lakers ground Rockets again

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 13 2021 11:42 AM

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) controls the ball against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (left) during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the first half and the Los Angeles Lakers posted their second runaway victory over the Houston Rockets in as many games, rolling to a 117-100 victory on Tuesday at Toyota Center in Houston.

The Lakers, who led by as many as 27 points in their 120-108 win on Sunday, matched that advantage on a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 3-pointer at the 3:16 mark of the second quarter.

The Lakers led wire to wire while remaining perfect on the road, combining stingy defense with blistering perimeter shooting in the first quarter to build a 35-14 lead entering the second.

James made 4 of 9 3-pointers and added eight rebounds and five assists. Five other Lakers joined James in double figures, with Anthony Davis posting 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in just 29 minutes. 

The starting backcourt of Dennis Schroeder and Caldwell-Pope combined for 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting with six rebounds and four steals.

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Christian Wood paired 18 points with eight rebounds while James Harden added 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists for Houston. The Rockets continued their poor shooting from deep, finishing 12 of 40 on 3s while shooting just 39.2 percent overall. 

Harden missed 5 of 6 treys and shot 5 of 16 overall.

The Lakers turned a 12-0 run into a 28-10 advantage in the first quarter, getting 3s from Caldwell-Pope and James while recording three blocks and forcing two turnovers during the rally. The Lakers entered the second quarter with a plus-8 advantage on the glass and eight fast-break points while limiting the Rockets to 6-for-21 shooting.

The Rockets weren't any more competitive in the second quarter and needed a Harden buzzer-beater to cut the deficit to 23 points at the intermission. 

The Lakers made half of their 18 3-point attempts in the first half, extended their rebounding advantage to plus-17, and recorded 17 assists on their 28 baskets. Just for good measure, the Lakers totaled 19 second-chance points.

The Lakers hit their largest lead at 95-65 on a Kyle Kuzma layup at the 2:25 mark of the third quarter.

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