Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Rockets – Game 70


Without a majority of their main players, the Los Angeles Lakers escaped with a 124-122 win over the Houston Rockets on the night their 2019-20 championship banner was unveiled.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Unlike the game against the New York Knicks, scoring was in abundance as the Lakers and Rockets had no issues putting points on the scoreboard. Houston made their first six shots and took an early seven-point lead, but Los Angeles responded and tied the game at 16-16 after a Markieff Morris 3-pointer.

The Lakers extended their run to 14-0 as they turned up the defensive intensity, preventing the Rockets from converting a field goal for over six minutes. Los Angeles executed its offense well to close the first and went into the second with a solid 34-26 lead.

Montrezl Harrell did what he usually does against second units, overpower opposing bigs in the painted area and drawing a charge on the defensive end. Talen Horton-Tucker and Harrell pushed the Lakers lead to double digits after each came down with their own emphatic dunks.


However, the Lakers clearly let their foot off the gas pedal as they stopped playing with the same level of effort and energy which allowed Houston to climb back into the game. Andre Drummond was able to finish a couple of times around the rim to cut the Rocket momentum and the Lakers managed to walk into the half with a 59-53 advantage.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: NBA

Drummond went right back to work in the paint at the top of the third, finding himself open near the basket for easy lay-ins. Despite that, the Rockets offense found its groove from the outside and eventually retook the lead midway through the period.

Los Angeles quickly righted the ship as they were able to go on a 9-0 run that put them back on top but had trouble guarding Kelly Olynyk, who started to really carry the Houston offense. Horton-Tucker was able to find several teammates for open shots, which let the Lakers take a 100-96 lead into the fourth.

Houston’s hot shooting continued into the fourth as they kept knocking down outside shots, but Ben McLemore provided a much-needed scoring boost to keep L.A. ahead. Harrell found little resistance scoring in the paint, but the Rockets countered with 3-pointers to keep them within striking distance.

The Purple and Gold were able to get a handle on the game down the stretch as they pounded the Rockets inside for easy baskets. In the final seconds, though, they found themselves trailing by one when Kyle Kuzma hit the go-ahead layup, and Wesley Matthews knocked the ball away from Olynyk to seal the win.


Lakers News and Notes:


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers two-point overtime victory over the New York Knicks Tuesday came with a ton of ups and downs as a whole, but no singular player exemplified that more than second-year guard Talen Horton-Tucker.

Left as the Lakers’ only remaining backcourt ballhandler, Horton-Tucker had a game-high 10 assists but also had a game-high seven turnovers, with many of those coming late in the game and overtime. But with the game on the line and the Knicks defense focused on not allowing Anthony Davis to beat them, Horton-Tucker found himself with a chance to come through, and he didn’t hesitate.

Horton-Tucker calmly stepped up and knocked down the game-winning three to give the Lakers a 101-99 win over the Knicks.

Just having the gall to take the shot after what had been a rough few minutes was credit enough for the young guard, but he had a simple response when asked about that last shot.

“I was more concerned about the turnover that I had just had. That was it honestly, I was trying to make up for it. Just being in that position I felt like ‘why not?’ The opportunity presented itself and I just tried to keep my confidence and good things happened.”

Those good things gave the Lakers their second-consecutive victory, not to mention validating those who have heaped praise and confidence on the guard all season long. The shot also came over one of Horton-Tucker’s childhood heroes in Derrick Rose.

Both are Chicago-born guards who attended Simeon Career Academy. Rose is 12 years older than Horton-Tucker, who attended the latter’s basketball camps in the city. Hitting the shot over Rose made things even more special for the Lakers young guard.

“It’s big,” he said of making the shot over Rose. “During the game at the moment, I wasn’t really thinking of it like that, just trying to get the win. But after you look back and you just see it. Not too many kids from Chicago could say they just did that, so I feel like it’s a blessing just to be in this position and was able to do that.”


Lakers vs Knicks
Photo Credit- Laker Nation

Horton-Tucker added that Rose is one of the players in the league that he’s always trying to learn from while playing against.

“I met D. Rose a long time ago growing up in Chicago and going to his camps and things like that. And then obviously me going to Simeon with him being who he is, the legacy that he left there. I’ve already known him pretty well, and we had a pretty good relationship coming into the game. We text here and there, but you know he’s always keeping it competitive when we’re on the court, and I was just trying to learn from him and just from myself while I’m out there.”

The talent of Horton-Tucker has been apparent this season, but it has come with the growing pains that are to be expected from a player of his young age getting his first real minutes in the NBA. Injuries forced him into a greater and more difficult role than he would be afforded the Lakers been at full strength, and he struggled because of it.

But it says a lot that he didn’t allow that to affect him when it mattered most, and because of that, the Lakers came away with their second straight win.

Injuries, unfortunately, cut the prime of Derrick Rose way too short, but in the city of Chicago, he remains an absolute legend who is viewed in the highest regard by those who came before and after him. That includes a young Horton-Tucker, who recalls meeting Rose at a very young age.

“I met him at the Adidas store when I was like eight. It was like right after he got drafted. they have things like that for No. 1 picks. So I went to meet him at the Adidas store, and that was the first time. He got me like a free ball, that was actually kind of crazy. He got me a free basketball, it was legit.”

Some players can falter when going up against their idol, but Horton-Tucker was able to push through his issues to come up with the biggest shot of the night, which goes to show why the Lakers have so much belief in him and his potential.



The Lakers take on the Pacers Saturday in Indiana. The tip-off is TBD and the game can be seen on  SportsNet LA.

Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                 Lakers vs Rockets                      Lakers vs Rockets               Lakers vs Rockets                

-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe Arrigo on Twitter @JoeArrigo

Follow The Franchise on social media