Lakers halt Rockets' 14-game winning run
Houston's 14-game winning streak ends in upset loss
Kyle Kuzma led the offensive charge as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped the red-hot Houston Rockets' 14-game winning streak with a 122-116 upset victory yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Kuzma scored an NBA career-high 38 points as the Lakers dominated the Rockets early then held on through a mid-game Houston rally to claim the win and end their own three-game losing skid.
"I scored 30 in the summer league," Kuzma said. "This is a better team but the same mentality. I've got the same mentality every time I step on the court, play my hardest and just be locked in."
The loss spoiled a 51-point scoring performance by Rockets star James Harden, who also added nine assists.
The Rockets dropped to 25-5 on the season and also lost for the first time with guard Chris Paul in their line-up.
Paul departed early in the fourth quarter with a sore left leg and did not return after scoring eight points in 25 minutes.
The Lakers improved to 11-18 on the season with Kuzma scoring 24 of his 38 points in the first half on nine-of-nine shooting.
Los Angeles shot 47.1 per cent overall and, after entering the game dead last in the NBA in three-point percentage, nailed 15 of 35 attempts from beyond the arc to keep the Rockets in check.
The Lakers played without starters Brook Lopez (ankle) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (personal reasons).
Kuzma got plenty of offensive help as half a dozen Lakers finished in double-digit scoring, including reserve forward Corey Brewer who had a season-high 21 points.
Brewer was shipped by the Rockets to Los Angeles at the trading deadline last February.
Brewer sparked the decisive run with a nifty lay-up at the 7:04 mark of the fourth quarter to break a 100-100 tie.
The Lakers stretched that lead to 10 points before the Rockets could muster a reply that fell short.
Rookie guard Lonzo Ball added 16 points and nine rebounds while Larry Nance and Brandon Ingram scored 13 apiece for the Lakers.
Elsewhere, LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Pau Gasol collected 20 points, 17 rebounds and five assists as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 93-91 at Moda Center.
In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Thunder routed the Utah Jazz 107-79. - AFP
Boston 89 Miami 90, Chicago 112 Orlando 94, Oklahoma 107 Utah 79, Portland 91 San Antonio 93, Golden State 97 Memphis 84, Dallas 110 Detroit 93.