NBA: Big Three fuel Lakers to tight win over Rockets

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Nov 03 2021 01:46 PM

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) moves in for a basket against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) moves in for a basket against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters


LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook combined for a season-best 84 points Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit and survived a wild finish for a 119-117 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets.

The Lakers' third consecutive win was not at all like their 95-85 triumph over the Rockets in the opener of the two-game, same-site sequence on Sunday, a game in which the hosts never trailed over the final 45 minutes.

The rematch saw the Rockets, who tipped off on a four-game losing streak, lead by as many as 11 points early in the third period before the Lakers chipped away, seized the advantage and then held on despite a pair of late 3-pointers by Houston's Jalen Green.

Still down, 97-92, with 10 minutes to play, the Lakers took the lead for good during a 12-3 burst that saw James contribute a dunk, three layups and a short jumper.

Houston was down, 114-106, with 2:31 to go before Christian Wood buried a 3-pointer and Green added his pair, the last of which closed the gap to 118-117 with 8.8 seconds remaining.

Los Angeles' Malik Monk made just one of two free throws with 6.6 seconds left, giving the Rockets a chance to tie or win with a 3-pointer. However, Kevin Porter Jr. was off the mark on a potential game-winning 26-footer, allowing the Lakers to hold on.

James finished with game highs of 30 points and 10 assists while Davis and Westbrook had 27 points apiece.

Davis and Westbrook each grabbed nine rebounds, and Westbrook added seven assists.

After scoring a team-high 23 points in the Sunday win, Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 15 off the bench for the Lakers, who totaled 26 points off 25 Houston turnovers.

Wood had a game-high 16 rebounds to go with a team-high 26 points for the Rockets, who lost despite shooting 52.7 percent.

Hitting five 3-pointers, Green chipped in with 24 points. Jae'Sean Tate had 20 for Houston, Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 14 and Porter finished with 11.