A back-and-forth battle between the Lakers and Rockets came down to the wire on Sunday with the Lakers coming out on top, 105-104.
It was the LeBron James and Anthony Davis show tonight as the dynamic duo took over the game. LeBron had 37 points on 14-19 shooting with eight assists and six rebounds while AD chipped in with 27 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth.
Cam Reddish continued his stellar defensive play by getting three steals, marking six of the last seven games with at least three steals for him. Austin Reaves bounced back with 17 points on 5-7 shooting overall and 2-3 shooting from deep, including a huge go-ahead triple in the final 30 seconds
The Lakers came out hot to start, draining five of their first six shots. AD dominated early, connecting with Taurean Prince for four of a quick six points to open.
The Rockets answered back with a 15-2 run. Houston extended their lead to ten by drilling five three-pointers. It wasn’t a pretty first quarter with the Lakers trailing the entire time after starting with an 11-4 lead.
Austin Reaves stopped the bleeding with a deep 3-pointer to cut the deficit to eight. Still, at the end of the first, the Rockets led 28-20.
LeBron started the second quarter dishing dimes to Reddish and Rui Hachimura to cut the deficit to two. He was up to five assists, helping the Lakers gain some confidence in their offense and did it while having some fun himself.
LeBron James after missing the layup pic.twitter.com/NVrwRSPZz3— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) November 20, 2023
The Rockets were able to answer back leading by three with four minutes left. The Lakers finally got the lead with two minutes left in the quarter, but lost it immediately after a 3-pointer from Alperen Sengun.
The Rockets went on a 10-3 run to lead at halftime, 55-49.
AD had a strong start to the third quarter, scoring a quick four points. LeBron was given a technical foul for shoving Dillon “The Villain” Brooks. Much of this quarter was close with both teams hitting back when the other took the lead.
LeBron, always a great cutter, waited for HOU to double Davis, then sprinted down the lane on the left side to catch a Davis dish for a layup that put LAL up 64-62.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 20, 2023
Lakers lead despite not being able to find range from 3. They're 3 for 19 (15.8%), to HOU's 9 for 23 (39.1%).
The Lakers weren’t able to get to a double-digit advantage but held on well enough to lead for most of the quarter. A much-needed three from Reddish helped spark some life into the team. LeBron did a turnaround fadeaway that was followed by a “too small” on Dillon The Villian. At the end of the third, the Lakers led 81-75.
LeBron with the “too small” celebration after scoring on Dillon Brooks.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 20, 2023
The Lakers tried to extend their lead in the fourth, but the Rockets kept hanging around. It was a three-point game with seven minutes left. LeBron had a monster jam that got the crowd energized.
Dillon The Villian drilled a couple of 3-pointers, but LeBron answered back with a three of his own. A classic duel between a hero and a villain.
With 58 seconds left in the game, AD fouled out. Austin Reaves hit a 3-pointer nearly from the logo to get the three-point lead for the Lakers. With four seconds left in a tie game and the Lakers having the ball, LeBron was fouled and hit one free throw to seal the win.
LeBron James. That’s it.
The Lakers need to find a way to extend a lead when they’re able to get out to a decent start. Going down immediately after an 11-4 start won’t always end with a win.
Taurean Prince needs to be consistent. He’s had too many games with lackluster offense.
The Lakers as a whole need to knock down their threes. Too much inconsistency takes them out of games fast.
They were able to win the rebound battle tonight snatching 55 of them.
You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.