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Lakers lock in on defense to beat Rockets 120-102

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Christian Wood didn’t circle the game on his calendar hard enough, apparently.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images

Christian Wood wanted the best that Anthony Davis had to offer on Sunday, and while it’s unclear that’s what he got, Davis definitely gave him something to think about.

In the Los Angeles Lakers’ 120-102 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday, Davis was nearly perfect from the field, scoring a game-high 27 points on 9-12 shooting from the field. Davis also recorded three blocks, which marked the fourth time in four games that he recored three blocks. In his first five games, Davis only recorded five blocks.

When Davis is locked in on both ends of the floor, the Lakers are a really tough team to beat. When the team follows suit, they’re almost unbeatable, and they did just that on Sunday night.

Having Kentavious Caldwell-Pope back in the fold certainly gave them a boost on the defensive end, but it was Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker who energized the Lakers on the defensive end against the Rockets. Together, Caruso and Horton-Tucker racked up seven steals, with Horton-Tucker recording four steals and Caruso recording three. Horton-Tucker’s four steals were a career-high for him, as were his 17 points.

Offensively, Caruso and Horton-Tucker’s fit together is largely reliant on one of them hitting their shots on a consistent basis, but defensively, their floor is as high as any back court in the NBA. Even when Wesley Matthews returns from injury, that’s a back court that should get more run.

Of course, no Lakers win would be complete without an all-around game from LeBron James, who tallied 18 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, a block and a steal. He’s so good that this is just another day at the office for him, but we’d be remiss not to acknowledge it.

The Lakers will see the Rockets again on Tuesday, and if Sunday’s game was any indication of how both teams feel about each other, it should be another fun one.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.