Harden after loss to Lakers
The action that unfolded at Toyota Center was definitely not what most people expected when the Houston Rockets met the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season. Dwight Howard was clearly the focus and he won his matchup with Pau Gasol decidedly, holding Gasol to 1-for-10 from the floor, while posting 14 points and 14 rebounds, but his free throw shooting was a huge issue, going just 5-for-12 in the fourth quarter as the Lakers got a game-winning three-pointer from Steve Blake to beat Houston, 99-98.
Rockets guard James Harden posted a season-high 35 points and a season-high nine rebounds.
Literally playing his former teammate
So much focus on Dwight Howard facing his former team for the first time tonight. But with no Kobe Bryant and the fact that the game was in Houston, the story line was just a bit misguided. However, Howard and Pau Gasol were literally facing each other as they were matched up nearly the entire night.
Through three quarters, Howard dominated with 10 points and 13 boards. Gasol, frustrated by Howard’s strength throughout was settling for jump shots, which he wasn’t making. Gasol had only two points on 1-of-9 shooting through the first three quarters.
The game was over when…
Pat Beverley missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer. They game was really won when the Lakers executed a great inbounds play with 3.4 seconds left, resulting in a great look on a 3-pointer from Steve Blake and he drained it. That put the Lakers up 101-100, which was the final score.
Just a little bit warm
The Lakers were blazing hot from behind the 3-point line to start the game, making 6-of-9 3-point shots in the first quarter. They didn’t cool off in the second quarter, drilling their next five, finishing 11-of-14 on 3-pointers in the first half. . The Rockets did not do a good job of closing out on the perimeter.
New half, new story
Lakers just 2-for-7 on 3-pointers in third quarter and their shooting struggles coinciding with the Rockets finally making a serious dent in the lead. A 15-3 scoring run trimmed the lead to just two at 74-72 with 15 minutes left.
Houston (4-2) awaits the arrival of the other team from Los Angeles on Saturday night. Rockets will be looking to exact a bit of revenge from their loss on Monday night. The Clippers(3-3) beat the Rockets 137-118, with Chris Paul scoring 23 points and dishing out 17 assists.