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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Rockets – Game 8

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (5-3) | Houston Rockets (1-7)



The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a nail-biting two-game sweep of the series against the Houston Rockets after a 119-117 win on Tuesday night.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The game began with a Jae’Sean Tate dunk off an assist from Kevin Porter Jr. for the Rockets’ first score of the game. The Lakers responded with an Anthony Davis bank shot to give them their first points. After that, the quarter would be even between the two teams, as neither squad could generate a big scoring run without being countered.

The Lakers would lead by no more than four throughout the quarter, with their final score of the period coming from DeAndre Jordan hitting a dunk off an assist from Russell Westbrook. However, the Rockets Christian Wood and Jalen Green ended on a 7-0 run to give Houston a 35-32 first-quarter lead.

The Rockets added to their lead at the start of the second quarter with layups from Kenyon Martin Jr. and David Nwaba. Los Angeles responded with a three from LeBron James and another dunk by Jordan. The teams continued trading points for the first half of the quarter. Down 49-45 at the four and a half minute mark, Davis and James assisted each other on dunks to tie the score at 49 apiece.

Green untied the game with a three-pointer halfway through the second quarter. After a Westbrook short jumper, the Lakers would force another tie score with 3:40 left in the first half. Houston responded with an 8-0 run, led by Tate scoring the first four points. The Lakers kept it close for the rest of the quarter but fell behind by six points just before the half after a Wood three-pointer with five seconds left.


The Rockets went into the locker room with a 70-64 lead.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

The second half began with the teams trading baskets again until the momentum briefly swung into Houston’s favor. A Tate dunk gave the Rockets an 11 point lead, the largest of the game for either team. Westbrook led a Lakers charge that cultivated in an 8-0 run with Davis scoring the final six points of the run, bringing Los Angeles back to within two of the lead.

David Nwaba stopped the Rockets’ bleeding with a dunk, only to be answered by a Davis alley-oop dunk on a lob from Westbrook. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter, with the Lakers having the slight edge in scoring. Despite outscoring the Rockets by four in the quarter, the Lakers found themselves down 89-87 after three quarters.

The Lakers rookie Austin Reaves started the fourth quarter with a layup to tie the game, only to have an Alperen Sengun dunk break the tie. Carmelo Anthony and Armoni Brooks traded threes, and D.J. Augustin hit another Rockets three to put Houston up by five. After free throws from Westbrook, James scored four points in the paint to put Los Angeles back up by one, only to once again be answered by a three by Houston, this time by Porter Jr.

James fought back with six straight points, followed by points from Jordan and Anthony after a Kenyon Martin Jr. paint shot to give the Lakers a six-point lead halfway through the last frame. However, the momentum would stall once more as the teams traded baskets up until the 1:30 mark of the game. James hit a pull-up shot followed by free throws from Davis after a loose ball foul by Wood.

The Rockets did not go down without a fight as Green hit a three to cut the lead from seven to four. With 19.5 seconds left, Westbrook missed a dunk, allowing Houston a chance to trim the lead some more. Green would do just that, as he hit another three with 8.8 seconds left to make the score 118-117. Green would intentionally foul Monk to force the Laker to shoot free throws. Monk missed the first shot but hit the second. The Rockets had one last chance to win the game, but a missed shot from Porter Jr. sealed their fate as the Lakers held on to win 119-117 and improve to 5-3 on the season.

The Lakers’ big three had their best-combined effort of the young season, led by James with 30 points and ten assists. Davis and Westbrook each tacked on 27 points apiece, while Anthony had 15 off the bench. The Rockets showed a solid effort from their young starters, as Christian Wood led the team with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Jalen Green had 24 points while Jae’Sean Tate had 20 points, and Kevin Porter Jr. had an off night with just 11 in 40 minutes.


The Lakers’ next game will be on Thursday, as they wrap up a four-game homestand against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game will start at 7:30 and can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet.


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– Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Matt on Twitter @RecordBowlerFSM

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