James leads way as Lakers sink Rockets
LeBron James produced his 31st double-double, Kyle Kuzma chipped in 23 points and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers turned a third-quarter defensive clinic into a 124-115 win over the Houston Rockets yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The Lakers delivered an efficient offensive display without their leading scorer, Anthony Davis, by following James' lead.
James paired a team-high 31 points with a game-high 12 assists to steward the Lakers. Their defensive might turned the tide in the third, which they won 32-17.
The Rockets shot just 21.4 percent (six of 28) in the quarter and missed 10 of 11 three-point tries.
Every attempt by a Houston ball-hander to penetrate the lane was met with a flurry of limbs, with the Rockets guilty of six turnovers in the period.
One particular sequence was emblematic of the Lakers' defensive effort, as JaVale McGee blocked a P.J. Tucker corner-three attempt before immediately thwarting Rockets centre Clint Capela on a dunk attempt.
McGee and former Rockets centre Dwight Howard recorded three blocks each, while Danny Green had four steals.
The Lakers posted 13 steals and nine blocks while limiting the Rockets to 12-for-37 shooting from behind the arc.
Russell Westbrook (35 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and James Harden (34 points, seven assists) paced the Rockets, who have dropped three straight and four of five.
New Orleans 130 LA Clippers 133, Brooklyn 97 Milwaukee 117, Oklahoma 119 Portland 106, Boston 119 Phoenix 123, Minnesota 112 Toronto 122