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Houston Rockets vs. Kobe Bryant err...Los Angeles Lakers game preview

The Rockets look to beat the Lakers in Kobe Bryant's last game in Houston.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It's Kobe Bryant's last game in Houston!

Not to be confused with Kobe's last game in the central time zone, or Kobe's last road game ever, or whatever "Last X" thing that ESPN's Twitter won't shut up about. We get it. Kobe's last season is here. And so there's a lot of nostalgia.

Can you tell I've grown tired of Kobe's last season?

However, we can be absolutely sure that Los Angeles will not have to suffer for long. Luckily, the NBA Lottery will go their way and they'll land Ben Simmons or Buddy Hield to help bolster their team in the future. The league can live with the Lakers being terrible if the tickets still sell in order to see Kobe. But a BAD Lakers team without Kobe? Well that's just not gonna fly.

Houston's magic number to make the playoffs is 4, meaning that they need a combination of wins and Jazz losses to equal 4 in order to make the playoffs. Technically, the seven seed is still possible, but the magic number there is 6 and would require Dallas to lose out (unlikely since they play San Antonio in their finale in Dallas and the Spurs are guaranteed to rest everyone).

So Houston has to hope that Utah loses to either Dallas, Denver, or this Lakers team.

Meanwhile, the Rockets have to win out against the Lakers tonight, a back-to-back against the white-hot Minnesota Timberwolves, and then at home against a Sacramento team that will absolutely try to play spoiler.

Anyway, tonight the Rockets will have to put their previous two losses behind them and try to beat a Lakers team that they have had few issues with this season.

Tip-off is at 2:30pm Central.

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