HOUSTON — In their final match against the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night, the Houston Rockets, once again, played their western conference rival close. This time around, the result was different en route to a 139-130 overtime victory over the Lakers.
With the win, the Rockets concluded their four-game regular-season series losing 3-1 to the Lakers.
Jalen Green came up huge down the stretch for the Rockets. For the fifth time in six games, Green eclipsed 20 points with a career-high 32. He scored 19 points during the fourth quarter and overtime.
Starting center Christian Wood missed his second consecutive game due to a non-COVID injury, and Alperen Sengun received his seventh career start and put on a show. Sengun finished with a career-best 21 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.
But Sengun and Green were not the only rookies who registered a career performance against the Lakers.
Josh Christopher received an ample amount of playing time in the absence of Jae’Sean Tate. The rookie from Arizona State came off the bench and attributed 21 of the Rockets 44 points off the bench. Tate was a late scratch before the game due to an ongoing ankle injury.
Dennis Schröder made his return from injury against the Lakers by scoring 12 points as a reserve. Schröder missed the previous four games due to an ankle injury of his own.
Perhaps it was due to the fans inside the Toyota Center chanting “Westbrick” that the Rockets fell victim to one of Russell Westbrook’s best games of the 2022 campaign. Westbrook ended the night scoring 30 points on an efficient 11-for-22 shooting from the field.
Former Rocket D.J. Augustin gave the Lakers a much-needed boost in his fourth game with the team. Coming off the bench, Augustin scored 11 of his 16 points during the first half for Los Angeles.
LeBron James made his return against the Rockets following a one-game absence due to a knee injury Monday night. James, who scored a season-high 56 points in his last outing on Saturday, looked far from the player that made him arguably the greatest in NBA history. He ended the night scoring 23 points in the loss.
After the win, the 17-49 Rockets will return to action on Friday for a southwest division battle against the 40-26 Dallas Mavericks. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.