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Just how impressive was the Lakers win against the Houston Rockets?

Akshay Gupta
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
416   //    23 Dec 2017, 09:51 IST

Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers travelled to Houston with a tough task on their hands. They were up against a Rockets side who currently have the NBA's best record this season, and were also on a 14-game winning streak coming into this. 

Since Chris Paul's return from injury, they had not been defeated. Until now.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns
Kuzma was instrumental during the Lakers surprise victory

The visitors started brightly, hitting three triples in the first minute and continued their efforts with a massive 22-point lead early into the second period. 

It's unsurprising that the Rockets managed to recover from such a significant deficit, partly thanks to 'The Beard' James Harden, who finished with a whopping 51 points. 

After all, they are notorious for their resilience after slow starts. However on this occasion, things did not all go their way. 

Whenever they attempted to make a run, the Lakers gave them an answer back - something that is completely different to most young NBA sides. 

It has been the same story over the past few matches, not least those that they have lost, but the team collectively are learning from their mistakes. That much was on display here. 

The game changers

Although the overall team effort made this victory possible, there were two key players who stood out during their 122-116 win. 

Kyle Kuzma (The steal of the Draft)

You can see that man certainly has a chip up his shoulder. 38 points, 7/10 from range and a perfect first-half showing. He was excellent out there and what was even more special, was his post-match comments. 

That confidence does not sound like it comes from a rookie. Surely, there was no-one other than himself who might have seen this coming? 

Corey Brewer

Everything was going right for Corey. He put up a significant 21-point performance and exacted revenge against his former employers, who traded him to the Lakers last year. He deserves credit for the energy he brings to both ends of the floor, whenever he steps foot on the court. 

Last but certainly not least

Last but not least, Lonzo Ball's 16 points and nine rebounds as well as Larry Nance Jr's 13 points (as well as nine rebounds too) cannot be ignored. Overall, this young Laker side showed that they can beat any team in this league - it will be very interesting to see how these players continue to shape the league's future.

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Akshay Gupta
CONTRIBUTOR
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