After registering six victories in seven games, defending champions LA Lakers take on the Houston Rockets for a second consecutive NBA game at the Toyota Center in Houston. Anthony Davis ran the show the last time around with 27 points, while LeBron James added 18 points to lead the Lakers to a comfortable 102-120 victory.
Tempers flared in the last match between these two teams as the first half saw two ejections and multiple technicals called.
Tuesday's rematch is expected to be a cracker, although the Houston Rockets will not be happy with the ease with which the LA Lakers got the win the last time around.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs Houston Rockets - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, January 12th, 2021 8:00 PM ET. (Sunday 6:00 AM IST)
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
LA Lakers Preview
With the duo of LeBon James and Anthony Davis in their ranks, it's no surprise the LA Lakers are favorites to win the NBA Championship. After all, they already did it last year.
This time around, the Lakers have an even better roster and have started the season in imperious form. Despite their 8-3 start, LeBron James’ recently claimed the Lakers are bound to get better.
James and Davis are averaging 24 points and 7 assists, and 22.9 points with 3.2 assists respectively, so far. The superstar duo has been supported by the cast of Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrel. In their title defense, the LA Lakers have looked solid and will be looking to make win their third straight game.
Also Read: How many rings do the LA Lakers have?
Key Player – LeBron James
LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA currently, and has started the season in stellar form. The veteran's range of passing and offensive ability has been on full display as he attempts to lead the LA Lakers to their second consecutive NBA Championship.
James is averaging 24 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in the 2020-21 NBA season, despite averaging a career-low 32 minutes so far. The King is among the early favorites to win league MVP and the LA Lakers hold the best record in the NBA.
LA Lakers' Predicted Lineup
G LeBron James, G Dennis Schroeder, F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F Anthony Davis, C Marc Gasol.
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets looked like they had finally managed to get their season back on track when they produced a commanding display in a 42-point victory over the Orlando Magic.
However, their loss to the LA Lakers means they have only won 3 out of their first 8 games of the 2020-21 NBA season. The James Harden situation appears to have left the Rockets in disarray and they have tinkered with their starting 5 multiple times already.
However, in James Harden they still have one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA New acquisitions, John Wall and Christian Wood, are both averaging more than 20 points per game as well. It is their defensive performances that have been under scrutiny, and they will now have to deal with a dominant LA Lakers side for the second straight game.
Key Player – James Harden
James Harden is coming up against a LeBron James-led side that was responsible for the Houston Rockets' playoff exit a few months ago. While Harden remains with the Houston Rockets, he will continue to be their key player and will be expected to lead them to a payback victory this time around.
A monster performance from James Harden will almost certainly be required if the Houston Rockets are to keep it close against the LA Lakers at the second time of asking.
James Harden has produced 26 points and 11 assists per game so far. While those are impressive numbers, he has proven that he can shoulder a heavier load, especially as far as the scoring is concerned.
Houston Rockets' Predicted Lineup
G John Wall, G James Harden, F P. J. Tucker, F David Nwaba, C Christian Wood.
Lakers vs Rockets Match Prediction
Once again, this matchup will see two of the best players in the NBA go head to head.
James Harden and LeBron James will be looking to steal the show and with no new injuries to report, both sides will probably use the same starting 5 as the previous fixture.
While the Houston Rockets will be eyeing revenge, it may prove to be too difficult a task against a stacked LA Lakers side.