Well, we asked for an early night for the Rockets starters and we got one, as Houston rolled over the shorthanded Lakers 134 - 95 at the Toyota Center for their fourth straight victory and largest point total of the season.
The Rockets were led by Eric Gordon’s 26 points, and he also set a new career high by draining 8 triples. Gordon played just 24 minutes and got some much-needed rest for that sprained ankle. Houston also got 25 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals from James Harden. The Beard sat the entire fourth quarter and should be well rested for Friday’s matchup with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.
And Patrick Beverley also had a nice game. Bev finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 12 assists, and this was the first time all season that someone other than James Harden led the Rockets in dimes. Houston also now moves to 9-2 since Bev came back from injury, illustrating the importance his infectious energy has to this squad.
This was total domination by the Rockets, as they led from start to finish and shot 54.3 percent from the field while holding the Lakers to just 39.1 percent. Houston was also 15 - 36 from beyond the arc and outrebounded L.A. 52 - 39.
The Rockets finished with 7 total players in double figures, as they also got 12 from Ryan Anderson, 11 from Trevor Ariza, 12 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks from Clint Capela, and 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists from Sam Dekker, who continues to look more and more comfortable every week. Sam is becoming a legit weapon for Houston with his athleticism and ability to spell Ariza effectively.
The Lakers were led by Julius Randle’s 21 points and 10 boards and got 24 points off the bench from Louis Williams, but they were missing D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young and Jose Calderon and simply couldn’t keep up with the Rockets’ high-powered attack.
Houston now moves to 15 - 7 on the year and are red hot heading into Friday’s showdown with the Thunder. They’ll be coming in fresh, rested and ready to go thanks to tonight’s blow out win. And that’s the mark of a good team: setting yourself up for success in the difficult matchups by making sure you take care of business in the games you are supposed to win.
This Rockets squad looks to be coming together before our very eyes, and it sure is a welcome and fun sight to watch each night.
Friday’s game takes place in Oklahoma City, and with the Thunder nipping at Houston’s heals in the standings, will be an important game for Western Conference playoff potential.