Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Playoff Recap: Lakers vs Rockets – Game 2

Los Angeles Lakers (1-1)  |  Houston Rockets (1-1)


The Lakers finished the first half of this game with a 67-51 lead.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers were on fire during the half, and nobody could be stopped. They shot 5 for seven from three in the first quarter and continued their great shooting into the second quarter. At the end of the half, they were 9 for 17 from three.

Their defense was stellar throughout the half as they forced many turnovers due to keeping up with the Rocket’s fast-paced ball movement. They forced eight turnovers, 4 of which were from Russell Westbrook, who shot 1 for 8 in the first half. They also limited James Harden to only shooting the ball six times. He finished the half 2 for six from the floor.

Nobody had a bad performance for the Lakers; every player shot above 60 percent except for Rajon Rondo, who was 1 for three from the floor but had seven assists.

The star players for the half were LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Markieff Morris. James dominated the paint against the small ball Rockets, scoring 17 points while shooting 6 for ten from the floor. He also passed for four assists and grabbed six rebounds. Davis was a star of the half despite leaving the game after taking a hit to the face in the first quarter. He came back in the late second quarter, ending the half with 18 points, shooting 8 for 12 from the floor and recording seven rebounds. Davis kept utilizing his deadly midrange jump shot that could not be stopped.

Despite the great defensive performances from P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington during game one, Davis’ shots went in even when being contested. Markieff Morris came in after Davis got hurt and caught heat as well. He made four three-pointers straight and shot 5 for five from the floor, scoring 14 points. 


The Rockets started a massive comeback in the third quarter, but the Lakers managed to take the victory, winning the game 117-109. 


Javale McGee had to leave the game early due to left ankle pain. 

The Rockets started the third quarter with a 14-0 run. The Lakers had trouble stopping Eric Gordon, who finished the game with 24 points, shooting 8 for 16 from the floor. Despite his small size, Tucker continued to give the Lakers problems, shooting 7 for ten from the floor and playing big by grabbing 11 rebounds, 4 of which were offensive. 

The Lakers started to heat up again on offense once Davis continued to shoot his mid-range jump shot and started being more aggressive in the paint. He finished with 34 points, ten rebounds, and four assists. He shot 15 for 24 from the floor, which is 62.5 percent. Kyle Kuzma also helped the Lakers during their third-quarter drought by surprisingly utilizing fast pace drives into the paint. He finished with 13 points shooting 6 for seven from the floor.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

James started driving in the paint even more than before. He finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, shooting 10 for 17 from the floor. The best thing for the Lakers this game, besides their defense at the beginning and towards the end, was their three-point shooting. They finished the game shooting 12 for 27 from beyond the arch, which is 44.4 percent. Danny Green shot 3 for five from three, and Morris shot 4 for 5. 

The Laker’s defense was stellar up until the third quarter.

Harden shot 50 percent from the floor and finished the game with 27 points and seven assists. That was a massive part of the comeback, but Rajon Rondo kept guarding Westbrook tightly, which was a huge reason the Lakers won. Westbrook could not recover from his first-half struggles; he finished with 10 points, shooting 4 for 15 from the floor.

The Laker’s most significant differences in this game were improving their three-point shooting, playing good defense by keeping up with the Rocket’s passes, and utilizing Davis’ mid-range jump shot and driving to the paint.


The Lakers look to take the series lead in Game 3 on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 pm, and it airs on TNT.

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

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