Lakers Gameday

25 - 53
Houston Rockets

52 - 25

Tip-Off: 7:30PM PST

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 2014

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

Broadcast Logos

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 TOT
HOU 35 31 49 30 145
LAL 26 35 29 40 130
Houston Rockets

52 - 25

Jones, Harden lead Rockets past Lakers 145-130

By Greg Beacham on April 08, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) When the nets finally cooled down at Staples Center, the Houston Rockets had a choice. They could be excited about their highest-scoring game of the year, or dismayed at their worst defensive effort in more than five months.

James Harden and the Rockets chose to draw motivation from both sources for their playoff push after a prolific night against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Terrence Jones and Harden scored 33 points apiece, and the Rockets beat the Lakers 145-130 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Chandler Parsons scored 19 points for the Rockets, who used a 49-point third quarter to solidify their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference standings despite their second-worst defensive performance of the year.

Still, Houston won the opener of a three-game road trip without injured Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, scoring with stunning ease against the Lakers' laughable defense.

"We had it going," said Harden, who had 12 assists and hit three 3-pointers. "We still gave up too many points, more than we wanted to, but we still got it going. Tonight was a tough game, a weird game."

Jones scored 23 points during a dominant first half, while Harden contributed 18 points during an overwhelming third quarter for the Rockets, who made 18 of their 24 shots and hit seven 3-pointers to go ahead 115-90.

Jones, who limped off the court with cramps, and Harden both sat out the fourth quarter of the Rockets' third win over the Lakers this season. Rookie Isaiah Canaan matched his career high with 15 points for Houston (52-25), which leads Portland by 2 1/2 games with a game in hand for fourth place in the West.

"When you go up like that, it's hard to stay locked in (defensively)," Parsons said. "But we can do a better job of that. We've just got to keep going and lock up homecourt advantage and get ready for the playoffs."

Steve Nash moved into third place on the NBA's career assists list for the miserable Lakers (25-53), who tied the franchise record for losses in a single season with their worst defensive performance of the year. Afterward, Nash said his season might be over after playing through another twinge of pain in his troublesome hamstrings.

"I just wanted to hang on and get this over with," the two-time NBA MVP said. "All of this is beyond my aspirations and wildest dreams. To be in that company is phenomenal."

After matching the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers' 53 losses in a 72-game season, coach Mike D'Antoni's injury-riddled team will finish with the club's most losses since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

Nick Young scored 32 points and Jodie Meeks added 30 for the Lakers, who have lost five straight. Jordan Farmar had 15 points and eight assists in his return from a 10-game injury absence with a strained groin for the Lakers, who allowed 143 points by Minnesota 11 days ago.
"We talk about schemes and different ways to play things, but it just seems like guys on other teams score too easily," Farmar said. "It just comes down to heart. It comes down to pride. Guys have to want it."

Howard, nursing a sprained left ankle, didn't play in the Rockets' second visit to the Lakers' home court since he spurned the 16-time NBA champions as a free agent last summer for less money in Houston. The fans still booed and shouted "Coward!" at Howard, who came out to the Rockets' bench late in the first quarter wearing bright pink pants.

The home crowd gave a standing ovation to Nash when he passed Mark Jackson late in the first half with a long outlet pass to Meeks for his 10,335th career assist. The 40-year-old Nash, who is expected to return to the Lakers next season, trails only assists leader John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091) in league history.

Nash finished with three points and five assists in 13 minutes, sitting out the second half in just his 15th game of the season.

The Lakers were down to just nine healthy players for their latest loss, playing without injured Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Xavier Henry and Kent Bazemore. Nash, Farmar and Young played through injury problems to suit up.

Nash catalyzed a 22-8 run in the second quarter by the Lakers, who briefly took the lead before Houston went into halftime up 66-61. The Rockets made a 28-6 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

NOTES: Late in the fourth quarter, the Lakers announced general manager Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a multiyear contract extension. The club's longtime personnel boss had one year left on his contract. ... The Clippers scored 137 points against Houston in the fourth game of the season. ... Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. was at Staples Center to promote his rematch with Manny Pacquiao on Saturday in Las Vegas. Andy Garcia, Jason Biggs, Jenny Mollen and Robbie Keane watched at courtside.

Game Notes

2013-14 Series Notes: The Lakers trail the series 1-2, winning the first meeting of the
season on a Steve Blake three-pointer with :01.3 seconds remaining.

All-Time Series Notes: The two teams have met 201 times in all with the Lakers holding a
133-68 series advantage (111-62 since the Rockets moved to Houston). The Lakers are
13-8 against the Rockets in their last 21 games overall... At STAPLES Center, the Lakers
are 18-10 all-time against the Rockets and 8-4 in their last 12... In Houston, the Lakers are
10-9 all-time at Toyota Center... In the first meeting of 2012-13, Kobe Bryant posted his
career triple double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists; his second against the
Rockets (19 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists 4/7/05 vs. HOU)… Bryant holds the series
scoring record with two 53-point games. Both games broke his own series mark of 52
established at STAPLES Center in February of 2003... In the playoffs, the Lakers are 5-3 in
eight meetings with the Rockets, most recently defeating the Houston 4-3 in the 2009
Western Conference Semifinals.

Connections: Lakers F/C Jordan Hill was a member of the Rockets from midway through
the 2009-10 season until 2011-12, when he was acquired by the Lakers in exchange for
Derek Fisher and a 2014 1st
round draft pick. In 127 games (18 starts) for Houston, Hill
averaged 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 50.2%... Rockets C Dwight Howard
played one season (2012-13) in Los Angeles, averaging 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds in 76 games (all starts)… Howard was coached by Lakers assistant coach Johnny Davis in Orlando in 2004-05… Point guards Steve Nash of the Lakers and Aaron Brooks of the
Rockets were briefly teammates for 25 games in Phoenix during the 2010-11 season… Rockets G Jeremy Lin (2011-12) played with the New York Knicks under Lakers head coach
Mike D’Antoni… On June 25, 2009, the Lakers sent the draft rights to Rockets G Patrick Beverly (2nd round, 42nd overall selection) to Miami in exchange for a 2011 second round
draft pick and cash considerations… Lakers assistant coach Mark Madsen played for Rockets head coach Kevin McHale on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2004-05 and 2008-09
seasons… Lakers G Jodie Meeks was on the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2009-10 season when Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson was an assistant… Lakers assistant
coach Kurt Rambis had Rockets assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff on his coaching staff in Minnesota during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons… Rockets G James Harden was born
in Bellflower, CA and attended Artesia High School.

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Game Photos

Game Photos

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Game Leaders

  LAL   HOU  
Nick Young
pts James Harden
Robert Sacre
reb Omer Asik
Jordan Farmar
ast James Harden


Game Starters

  LAL   HOU  
Kendall Marshall g Jeremy Lin
Jodie Meeks g James Harden
Jordan Hill c Omer Asik
Ryan Kelly f Terrence Jones
Wesley Johnson f Chandler Parsons

Injury Report - LAKERS

  • Kobe Bryant:
    (fractured left knee) is out
  • Jordan Farmar:
    (groin) is probable
  • Pau Gasol:
    (vertigo) is out
  • Chris Kaman:
    (calf) is out
  • Xavier Henry:
    (wrist,knee) is out
  • Nick Young:
    (ankle) is probable
  • Kent Bazemore:
    (foot) is out

Injury Report - ROCKETS

  • Dwight Howard:
    (ankle) is questionable
  • Patrick Beverley:
    (knee) is out
  • Greg Smith:
    (knee) is out