Instead, you were just watching a clunker being followed up with just another clunker from Houston.
The good news is the Rockets did us a favor and let us know from the beginning that they didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell against the best team in the Western Conference. After coming out of the gate with no effort on defense, no ball movement on offense, and a boatload of turnovers, the Rockets were down 35-14 after the first quarter.
The Lakers beat the Rockets in every single aspect of the game. Houston never once led or tied in the matchup. LA had 63 rebounds to the Rockets’ 50. The Lakers shot 53% from the field, 43.8% from three, while the Rockets went 39.2% from the field, 30% from three. Los Angeles dominated second chance points 23 to 11, and they had 17 fastbreak points to Houston’s 10. The sad part is that the Rockets’ garbage-time unit helped beef up those numbers too.
All of the big names were checked out by the end of the third quarter or the very beginning of the fourth.
For the Rockets, James Harden had 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in nearly 31 minutes on 5-16 shooting. Christian Wood didn’t reach 20 points for the first time in his Rockets career, scoring 18 on 8-18 shooting from the field, 2-5 from three, to go along with eight rebounds. John Wall had 10 points, 4-of-11 shooting, and five assists.
LeBron James led all scorers in the game with 26 points, eight assists, and five rebounds on 10-of-19 shooting from the field. Anthony Davis dropped in 19 points, went an immaculate 7-8 from the field, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked five shots. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Dennis Schroder each had 14 points.
There might not have been much to report on the game from the Rockets’ end, but there is still plenty to reflect on. These past two losses have looked really bad, but Houston also had the grave misfortune of having to play the best team in the league in back-to-back games when they’re still trying to figure it all out. Players are still working their way back from injury, trying to catch up with NBA game speed, and this team is still trying to mesh together. The Rockets drop to 3-6 on the season, but that’s only nine games into the season and they’re just two games out of the playoff picture.
The Rockets don’t exactly have a cakewalk with an upcoming double-header against the San Antonio Spurs — both games in San Antonio — but they are definitely facing a team that they have the talent to beat. Hopefully they can get into rhythm against them.