After a much needed four days off, the Houston Rockets were back at it tonight vs the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets knew that after having four days off, they were expected to be fresh and ready to go. Throughout the first half, they had nothing going their way. Horrid defense was the main cause. With Chandler Parsons and Greg Smith ruled out just before the game, that meant for everyone to be ready to hop off the bench and contribute.
At the half, despite the lackluster defensive performance, the Rockets were only trailing by 5, 57-52.
At halftime I predicted that James Harden was going to come out in the second half and put on a show. Well, my prediction was definitely on the money. James Harden practically owned the 3rd quarter and the whole team playing defense was how the Rockets got back into this game and ran away with it for good.
— Adam Abramson (@Adam_Abramson1) January 9, 2014
The Rockets outscored the Lakers, 33-15 in the 3rd quarter. They walked into the final period with a 85-72 lead. The Rockets and Lakers played a back-and-forth 4th quarter. But ultimately the Rockets defense combined with Hardens play in the 3rd quarter, was too much for the Lakers to overcome. The Houston Rockets beat the L.A. for the first time this season, 113-99.
One player on the Rockets that we all know secretly wanted to have a huge game, was Dwight Howard. Dwight did his job, and ended up with 20 points and 13 rebounds. James Harden was spectacular. With Parsons out, Harden knew he had to have play a huge game on the offensive end and he excelled everyone’s expectations. Harden scored 38 points, going 14/23 from the field. He simply could not be stopped. Speaking of “The Beard”, tonight was his third consecutive game with 30+ points.
The “We’re Not a Good Team Without Kobe” Lakers fall to 14-22 for the season. The Houston Rockets record is now 23-13.
Following tonight’s victory, the Rockets will head out for a brief road trip. It’s always nice to head out on the road with a win.