Big 360’ Leads L.A. to 4th Straight Home Win
In a rare case of playing the same opponent in back-to-back home games, the Lakers showed some resiliency and escaped with a 119-117 victory over the Houston Rockets, Tuesday night.
For the first time this season, the Lakers Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook totaled 27+ points each in one game. James led the ‘Big 360’ with 30 points and 10 assists, while Davis and Westbrook tallied identical stat lines with 27 points and 9 rebounds each.
Frank Vogel commented on his three stars performance during his postgame presser.
“I think those guys were all in attack mode,” Vogel said. “The screens were great to free [LeBron] up. Those are the things we’re working on to improve. I thought Russell did a great job slowing down at the point of his explosion to just be a little more under control with his finishes and shot a higher percentage. AD is AD.”
From a milestone standpoint, with his two steals tonight, LeBron moved up to 12th on the all-time steals list (2,077) passing Mookie Blaylock.
Carmelo Anthony once again had another fine night of shooting on home court, finishing with 15or more points in his fifth straight home game.
Overall, it was a much more tightly contested matchup compared to LA’s Halloween victory as Houston matched their first half total from Sunday’s game within the first quarter and promptly doubled that total to take a six-point lead into halftime tonight.
The Lakers found themselves down 10 with about seven minutes left in the third quarter but eventually made a run to cut the lead down to two as the teams went into the fourth. LeBron turned his game up and made a run of his own scoring 10 straight points to give the Lakers a four-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
“It’s just about the moment,” James said postgame. “I just love the moment and love to make the best plays to help our team win. At that point in time, it calls for me to score and I was able to bring us a few buckets at the time.”
At the 2:31 mark, an interesting turn of events occurred when the Lakers had two points taken off the board. According to the referees, there was a statistical error and Kent Bazemore was not supposed to take two free-throws due to Los Angeles not being in the bonus.
“It’s definitely something the league needs to look at,” Vogel said. “I understand the mindset to get it right but once play resumes you can’t correct that. Can’t correct it. The league’s got to look at that because they can’t give us that possession back. Very frustrated by that. Thankfully it didn’t change the outcome of the game.”
Despite the confusion, the Lakers were able to hold off the Rockets late comeback to win their fourth straight home game and fifth in their last six.
Next on the schedule is another familiar foe in the form of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who rallied from 26 points down to stun the Lakers last Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 7:30 pm PT on Spectrum SportsNet.
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