The Rockets have won three games in a row, are the fourth seed in the Western Conference, and their 14-7 record has them on pace for a 55-win season. They are slightly banged up, with Trevor Ariza battling back spasms and Eric Gordon fighting a sprained ankle, but both are expected to play.
The Lakers, on the other hand, despite wins over the Rockets, Warriors, Thunder and twice over the Hawks, have lost three consecutive games and are now sitting at 10-13 and ninth place in the West. They are also battling injuries, though they are in much worse shape than the Rockets. Nick Young, D'Angelo Russell and Jose Calderon are all out tonight.
The Rockets have a clear advantage in talent with the Lakers missing so many pieces, and Houston should be able to hold serve on their home court. Always beware the trap game, however, and with a big match against the Thunder coming up on Friday, there's always the chance the Rockets come out flat. But this is a team with good chemistry, and I think they show the Lakers early that they mean business.
Make sure to check out AK's game preview if you haven't already, and I'd like to see the Rockets end this one early, get their guys some rest and show D-Mo exactly what he's missing.