The Los Angeles Lakers ran out of fuel by halftime in a 112-95 loss to the Houston Rockets. The Lakers' offense was surprisingly effective through the first half, with Kobe Bryant dishing out seven assists in the first quarter alone. The Rockets came out ready to blast off after letting L.A. stick around though, pulling away with a quick start in the third quarter to pull away for good.
James Harden was a man on fire, scoring a game-high 31 points in just over 27 minutes on 10-of-17 shooting. The Lakers showed little resistance against Harden, who scored 12 of his points through the first quarter. Dwight Howard led the game in rebounding (15) and scored over and around Roy Hibbert and the Lakers with relative ease. Points in the paint came in bunches for Houston, ending the night with 70 points in close.
Bryant ended the night with nine assists, which served as the majority of highlights from the Lakers. He logged 24 minutes after leaving early against Utah, playing through the entire third quarter before sitting out of what became a blowout. Lou Williams led the team in scoring with 20 points, including an explosive driving dunk after crossing Corey Brewer over.
Julius Randle's first start since early December was a tale of two halves. He scored all 12 of his points in the first half, but played limited minutes through the second. Randle was active around the rim and was the recipient of a few nice passes for easy baskets in the paint early on, but found himself benched after playing eight minutes in the second half. D'Angelo Russell had a relatively quiet game with 12 points and five assists.
The Lakers are off until Wednesday, needing a two-day break to gather themselves before hosting the Sacramento Kings.