The LA Lakers delivered a good, old-fashioned spanking to the Houston Rockets as LeBron James toyed with his opponents on Tuesday night. The reigning NBA champions were determined to put the game away almost from the start of the game.
On the other hand, the Rockets seemed to have their life sucked away from them by the time the first quarter ended with them trailing 35-14. There was hardly any effort from the home team to get back in this game as the starters were no longer on the floor early in the fourth quarter.
There is plenty of praise and blame to go around in this game in our 5 hits and flops from the LA Lakers-Houston Rockets matchup:
Hit: LeBron James (LA Lakers)
When you take a three from the corner and face your teammates without looking at your shot, you’re just messing around with your opponent as though they can’t guard you. That play from LeBron James encapsulated the way this game went for the LA Lakers and Houston Rockets as the 36-year-old was in MVP form from the get-go.
James finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in only 29 minutes of action. Twenty-two of those points were from the first half alone.
Flop: James Harden (Houston Rockets)
James Harden seemed disinterested to play tonight as he scored only 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 from the arc. Though he had a solid all-around effort with seven rebounds and six assists, the former MVP was on cruise control rather than being aggressive.
Perhaps it’s the LA Lakers defense that was the main culprit for his poor showing but as the Houston Rockets’ franchise player, Harden is expected to perform much better. Too many times it looked like Harden was content to just pass the ball rather than take over for the Rockets when they needed him the most.
Hit: Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)
The LA Lakers defense begins and ends with Anthony Davis. The 6-foot-10 forward dominated the paint, blocking five shots including a dunk attempt from Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown. Brown tried to ram home the rock on a fastbreak right in front of Davis who promptly rejected him.
Davis added 19 points on a red-hot 7-of-8 shooting from the field. He also controlled the paint with 10 rebounds on the night. Playing in only 29 minutes, Davis snuffed the lights out from would-be penetrators, keeping the Rockets from scoring easy buckets.
Flop: John Wall (Houston Rockets)
John Wall’s return to the basketball court has been a success this season but nothing could have prepared him for the walloping he would receive from the LA Lakers in consecutive games. Wall had a so-so performance on Monday with 14 points but tonight was less forgivable.
The former All-Star had only 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting while making just one of his six 3-point attempts. As the team’s point guard, Wall failed to control the offense which led to the blowout loss.
Hit: Dennis Schroder (LA Lakers)
Dennis Schroder has never been an All-Star before but in 25 minutes against the Houston Rockets, he played like one.
Schroder outperformed his Rockets counterpart and played excellent defense on Wall. The LA Lakers guard scored 14 points on 67 percent shooting from the floor including a perfect 2-of-2 from long distance. He added three rebounds, three assists, and a steal to complete a brilliant performance on Tuesday.
Also Read: 5 NBA players with the most 50-point gamesPublished 13 Jan 2021, 09:43 IST