The Los Angeles Lakers head to Houston to face Dwight Howard and the Rockets in the second half of a back-to-back, looking to keep the swag rolling. Nick Young's return went better than expected, and his thumb ligaments didn't stop him from getting up to 17 points while giving the Lakers some offensive potency off the bench.
All overly-harped-on narratives aside, the Rockets have been very good this year. They're putting up an insane amount of three-point attempts -- the most of any team in the last decade -- and there's no reason to expect them to turn down their long-range attempts against the Lakers' defense. Los Angeles has trouble dealing with floor spacing, too often collapsing and settling into a zone without adjusting. Houston will certainly try to poke the Lakers' bruised three-point defense.
The Lakers' game against Atlanta was their most-winnable outing of the three-game road trip, and they nearly let it slip away in the second half. Fortunately Atlanta's defense put up about as much resistance as the Lakers' did, and the purple and gold were able to lean on Kobe Bryant to land the knockout blows in the fourth quarter.
The last time these two teams met it turned into a nightmare game for the Lakers. Julius Randle broke his leg, which was one of the two worst-possible things that could have happened to the Lakers this season. Hopefully the Lakers can turn that around with a two game winning streak during the Swaggy P Has Returned era.
If not? Well, they scratched the win column Tuesday and back-to-backs are tough. Hopefully they keep it competitive, we get a few highlights, and the team isn't ran out of the building on national TV. Enjoy the game.
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT
Station: ESPN, TWCSN